Wednesday was a memorable day for Brewer High School athletics as the Witches' baseball and softball teams, shown posing together with their plaques at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, which both won regional championships. Credit: Ernie Clark

BREWER, Maine — Libby Hewes struck out three hitters in Brewer High School’s 6-2 victory over Oceanside of Rockland/Thomason in Wednesday’s Class B North softball final at Doyle Field in Brewer.

But she didn’t have to. As usual, the Brewer High defense was superb, turning in an errorless performance to back the junior righty.

The 19-0 Witches will hope that trend continues when they host Greely High of Cumberland Center, 13-7, in the Class B state championship at 4 p.m. Saturday at Coffin Field.

Greely received a one-hitter from Kelsey Currier to beat Morse of Bath 1-0 in the Class B South final for its eighth straight win.

In the other state games, a pair of pitchers who pronounce their first names the same way but with different spellings will try to lead their respective teams to state titles.

Narraguagus High School junior Lanie Perry pitched a seven-hitter to beat Bucksport 4-2 in nine innings in the C North final and she will take the circle for her 18-1 Knights against 19-0 Madison at St. Joseph’s College in Standish at 12:30 p.m.

Narraguagus will be looking for its first state title since 2002 while Madison will be playing in its fifth state title game in six years and third in a row. Madison lost to Bucksport a year ago after beating the Bucks in 2016.

And sophomore Leine McKechnie from Penobscot Valley in Howland will shoot for her second straight state title when the Howlers, winners of 39 straight games, take on a 17-1 Greenville team that has never played in a state final. Game time in the D final is noon in Brewer.

McKechnie struck out 21 in a 7-2, 10-inning win over Southern Aroostook of Dyer Brook in Wednesday’s Class D North final.

In the 4 p.m. Class A final at St. Joseph’s, 19-0 Scarborough will look to defend its state title and win its sixth crown in 12 years when it faces a 16-3 Oxford Hills team from South Paris that last won a Class A state title in 1999.

The Witches have committed just two errors in three playoff games and Hewes is grateful.

“I can’t stop talking about how good my defense is,” said Hewes. “That has really strung our team together. We’ve never had such a strong defense. It wins games for us.”

“I just have to throw strikes because I know my defense is behind me,” she added.

“Defense is the number one factor in getting us to where we are,” said senior center fielder Emily Lord. “[Head coach Skip Estes] tells us all the time that even if we hit well, you aren’t going to win without good defense.”

Brewer has held 16 of 19 opponents to three runs or less. The Witches devote a lot of practice time to defense.

“Our first half of practice is usually defense and we’ve worked on it so much, we’ve really progressed,” said senior third baseman M.J. Sellars.

Headlining the defense is rangy, slick-fielding sophomore shortstop Kenzie Dore.

“They play great team defense and their shortstop is tremendous,” said Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester. “She makes nice plays on balls nobody would normally get to. She’s as close to Division I material as I’ve seen in a long time.”

“She is as good, right now, as any shortstop I’ve ever had,” said Estes, who is in his 13th year as the head coach. “She has a great arm, really quick hand-eye coordination and she’s pretty quick laterally.”

“I just try to get the ball, throw it to first and get the out. That’s my job,” said Dore who feels her range going to her right is her biggest area of improvement.

“I’m better at getting those balls that used to get through,” said Dore. “I’ve been reading the ball [better] and moving as quickly as I can to get to it.”

Dore’s emergence as the starting shortstop last year meant Emily Lord had to move from shortstop to center field.

“I love having her there. I’d have her over there any day over me,” said senior Lord. “Her attitude and work ethic are unbelievable.”

Lord has made a nice adjustment to center field.

“At first, I was spazzy out there. I didn’t know which way to go. But now it’s a lot easier. I watch the ball come off the bat,” said Lord.

Sellars was a catcher for two years and the designated player last year before taking over at third.

Junior Jordan Goodrich is now the catcher.

“I was nervous because I had never played third before but Kenzie reassured me that I could do it and I think I’ve done well this year,” said Sellars. “I’m glad Jordan is catching because she can do it a lot better than I did.”

Another key component to the defense is Hewes. She played first base a year ago when she wasn’t pitching.

“She’s as good [defensively] as any pitcher I’ve seen,” said Estes.

Juniors Becca Gideon and Olivia Cattan play first and left field, respectively, sophomore Kathryn Austin is the second baseman and freshman Sarah Kiley is in right field.

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