AUGUSTA — It was a memorable pitcher’s duel between a pair of juniors.
But, in the end, it was a clutch two-out double by junior first baseman Molly Russell in the fourth inning that proved decisive as Sonja Morse outpitched Alexa Grindle to lead Cony High of Augusta to a 1-0 softball victory over Brewer in their Eastern Maine Class A championship game Tuesday night.
The Rams will take a 19-0 record into Saturday’s 3 p.m. state championship game against Western Maine champ South Portland at St. Joseph’s College in Windham.
Brewer wound up 12-7 while losing for just the third time in its last 13 games.
Morse fired a three-hitter, striking out nine and walking just two.
Grindle tossed a seven-hitter with four strikeouts and one walk.
Both teams turned in superb defensive performances.
The fourth-inning rally began with a one-out walk to Maggie Russell.
Alyssa Brochu blooped a single just inside the right-field line but Brewer right fielder Deaven Smith threw a perfect strike on the fly to third to nail Russell.
But Molly Russell followed with a double off the fence in right center and Brochu raced home as the relay throw nicked off the glove of catcher Sarah Babin.
Brewer had its best scoring chance in the fifth when Morgan Small ripped a leadoff line-drive single into the left center field gap. Only a nice play by center fielder Arika Brochu, who cut the ball off, prevented Small from getting extra bases.
Cassie Harvey walked and both runners moved up on Carly Seymour’s groundout.
But Morse struck out the next hitter and got a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.
Molly Russell had two singles to go with her double.
Harvey Smith added a single for Brewer.