BREWER, Maine — Something had to give during Thursday night’s intriguing rematch of last season’s Class B North softball final between defending state champ Brewer and Oceanside of Rockland.
Both teams entered the game 3-0 with Brewer having scored 40 runs in its three victories and Oceanside senior right-hander Chloe Jones throwing three shutouts in Oceanside’s triumphs.
The Witches’ potent lineup prevailed as Brewer used a seven-run sixth inning to post a 10-4 victory at Coffin Field.
It was Brewer’s 24th consecutive victory.
Brewer had trailed 2-1, battled back to take a 3-2 lead and then fell behind 4-3 on Abby Veilleux’s two-run double in the top of the sixth.
Olivia Cattan had two singles in the seven-run uprising, including a sharp, leadoff base hit to center after fouling off three two-strike pitches.
“It was a little nerve-wracking but we can all hit so we weren’t too worried about it,” Cattan said.
“We all told her it was her time. You’ve got to get on base to get us started and, from there, it just went on,” said senior first baseman Becca Gideon, who rifled a two-run double to right-center later in the inning.
Cattan’s younger sister, Mia, followed by lining an 0-2 changeup into left field for a single.
With power-hitting Sarah Wood up next, Brewer coach Skip Estes noticed that Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester, who had his corner infielders in to try to take away the bunt most of the time, had them drop back so he gave Wood the bunt sign.
Wood put a perfectly-placed bunt down the third-base line and nobody covered first so the third baseman’s throw hit the bag and glanced into right field, allowing two runs to score and allowing Wood to race all the way around to third.
Sarah Kiley’s infield single scored Wood and Kiley then stole second and on Jordan Goodrich’s crisp single to right.
An out and a walk later, Gideon came through with her two-run double and Olivia Cattan capped the rally with an RBI single.
“They’re a good-hitting team,” said Jones, who had 49 strikeouts entering the game. “They put the bat on the ball and hit the gaps.”
The Witches took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out passed ball but Jones belted a two-run double to right-center in the fifth to give Oceanside a 2-1 lead.
Winning pitcher Libby Hewes hit her second homer of the season, a two-run shot to left-center, to restore Brewer’s one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth.
But the Mariners responded with a pair in the top of the sixth on Abby Veilleux’s two-run double to left-center.
“They made some defensive mistakes in the sixth and we capitalized,” Estes said.
“I love playing on this team. We always come back,” Gideon said.
Hewes went the distance for the win, allowing six hits and two earned runs. She struck out seven and walked three while throwing 112 pitches, 78 for strikes.
Hewes had a single to go with her homer in Brewer’s 11-hit attack. Kiley, Goodrich and the Cattan sisters each had two singles.
Jessica Watkinson was Oceanside’s only repeat hitter with two singles.
“We’re very, very young in some places and it showed. We made some crucial errors,” Worcester said. “We’ll work harder and get better. Our young girls will develop like they always do.”
Jones allowed six earned runs among the 10 with six strikeouts and two walks. She threw 120 pitches, 79 for strikes.
She had the Witch hitters off balance with her changeup in the middle innings but had trouble spotting it later in the game.
“I could have done better, hitting the spots and getting my changeup over,” Jones said.