BANGOR, Maine — Brewer High School junior righthander Alexa Grindle allowed six runs and seven hits in the first three innings of her first game against arch-rival Bangor back on April 30.
But Grindle blanked the Rams over the next three innings; shut them out in their next regular season showdown and hurled 6⅔ innings of five-hit shutout softball in their Eastern Maine Class A semifinal on Saturday as the seventh-seeded Witches ousted the third-seeded Rams 7-1.
Brewer, now 12-6 and winner of 10 of its last 12, will face top-seeded Cony of Augusta, 18-0, in Tuesday’s EM Class A final in Augusta.
Grindle struck out five and didn’t walk anyone while throwing 92 pitches, 66 for strikes.
She retired 14 of the last 16 hitters she faced.
Bangor had just one inning in which it put more than one base-runner on base: the second.
The Rams scored a run in the seventh when Anna Morris’ groundout plated Jade Baumrind, who had singled, stolen second and moved to third on a catcher’s throw to first on a dropped third strike.
Grindle was backed by a 13-hit attack and an impressive defensive performance. Brewer committed just one error.
Offensively, the Witches proved to be clutch as four of their first five runs came on two-out hits.
Brewer took the lead for good with a second-inning run on Grindle’s one-out single, a fielder’s choice, Cassie Harvey’s sharp single off third baseman Kamdra Prendergast’s glove and Carly Seymour’s RBI fly ball single that hit the chalk on the left-field foul line.
Brewer broke the game open with four runs in the fourth.
Morgan Small, Harvey and Seymour hit one-out singles and Small scored on Maddy Bailey’s groundout to second.
Lindsay Houp flared a two-run single into left center, went to third on an outfield throwing error and scored on Kelly Hatt’s single to center.
Freshman Emily Reilly replaced sophomore Alexis Stanhope at the outset of the fifth and the Witches tacked on two more runs on Small’s long RBI double to center and Harvey’s run-scoring single to center.
Harvey and Hatt each had three hits and an RBI for Brewer. Small doubled and singled and Seymour singled twice and each had an RBI.
Baumrind and Stanhope had two singles each for Bangor, which concluded a 12-6 season.