After having its 31-game winning streak snapped by Class A archrival Bangor on Tuesday night, the defending state Class B champion Brewer High School softball team wanted to start a new one against fellow Class B North contender Hermon on Wednesday afternoon at Coffin Field in Brewer.
Senior center fielder Becca Gideon drove in four runs and senior ace Libby Hewes fired a four-hit shutout as the Witches beat the Hawks 9-0 at windswept Coffin Field.
The Witches (13-1) completed a rare doubleheader against two different opponents later Wednesday, posting a 12-2 victory over Winslow.
“There were a lot of tears in the locker room last night but we tried to turn it into a good thing,” Gideon said. “We kept all the negativity out. We talked about it last night. We wanted to look at it as a lesson and to try to start over again and get a fresh start.”
Hermon had its seven-game winning streak ended and fell to 10-2.
Hewes, who will attend Husson University in Bangor in the fall, struck out six and walked two while throwing 104 pitches, 65 for strikes.
“We aren’t done,” Hewes said. “A lot of things didn’t go our way [against Bangor] and one of our teammates [second baseman Kathryn Austin] who has a big impact got hurt and that sent us downhill.
“But I’m telling you right now we’re back on top and ready to go,” Hewes added.
Austin took a grounder in the face and didn’t play on Wednesday.
Hermon senior Bre Oakes also pitched well, allowing five hits, but her teammates made five errors behind her, including four in a six-run sixth-inning rally. There were also two passed balls and a wild pitch in the frame.
“[Hewes] did a real good job keeping us off balance,” Hermon coach Jody Theberge said.
Brewer coach Skip Estes said Hewes’ performance was her best of the season, but Hewes disagreed.
“I wouldn’t say it was my best,” Hewes said with a grin. “It was a pretty good game. The defense and offense all delivered today and that helped me.”
Brewer committed just one error.
Hewes scored what proved to be the winning run in the first inning. She laced a double down the left-field line, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Gideon’s bunt. Oakes fielded it and threw late to the plate.
Another bunt started a two-run, fifth-inning rally when Sarah Kiley led off with a bunt single in front of the plate. Jordan Goodrich reached on an infield throwing error and runners wound up on second and third.
Kiley scored on Hewes’ grounder to third as she beat the throw home and Goodrich came across the plate on Gideon’s sacrifice fly to center.
Estes said most of his players are good bunters and he waits to use it in the right situations.
“Oakes was pitching very well so I wanted to create some action in the field,” Estes said.
Gideon lined a two-run single to left in the clinching sixth-inning rally. Sarah Wood had the other hit in the inning, a single.
Kenzie Dore had a third-inning single for Brewer.
Hermon junior first baseman Allyson Rush was the game’s only repeat hitter with two singles. Sarah Littlefield and Mia Foley had a single apiece.
“We didn’t play very good defense in the late innings and when you play a good team, you can’t afford to give them extra outs,” Theberge said.