From the moment Adrianna Lang stepped into the circle Saturday afternoon at Coffin Field in Brewer, the Searsport District High School sophomore was clearly on a mission.
Her freshman campaign had been wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Lang made the most of her debut on the state championship stage in a big way.
Lang fashioned a well-pitched, two-hit shutout while cranking out two hits, including a two-run double, as the Vikings steamrolled Ashland 8-3 in a sun-splashed Class D state championship game.
“It feels great,” said Lang, who surrendered just two singles and no earned runs while striking out 10. “We missed [last] season, so freshman year for me didn’t happen. But it’s like we didn’t miss a beat.”
Coach Christin Chase’s Vikings, who led 2-0 before Lang even threw a pitch, capped the season with a 13-6 record.
Ashland wound up 17-1.
Searsport didn’t waste any time getting its offense cranking, with Makenzie Alley and Emma Spiegel delivering run-scoring singles in the top of the first, setting the tone for Lang’s afternoon.
The sophomore was efficient, keeping the Hornets off balance with a steady diet of fastballs. She was working with backup catcher Kenzie Tripp after starter Sarah Gent was injured during pregame warmups.
“We’re definitely glad she was there and she was available,” Chase said. “She wasn’t intimidated.”
Lang contributed to a four-run uprising in the third with a sharp, two-run double to left-center, and Spiegel plated her second run of the afternoon with a base hit to center later in the frame.
That was all the support Lang needed, as the Hornets had trouble catching up to her riseballs.
“We haven’t seen a pitcher like that,” Ashland coach Terry Hunter said. “I knew we could hit her, it just took us too many innings.”
Searsport plated single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to stretch its lead out.
Ashland got on the board with two runs in the sixth thanks to an error and two wild pitches while the Hornets managed to scratch out another in the seventh.
The Vikings’ aggressiveness on the bases had the Hornets on their heels in the field at times.
“We’ve tried to be really aggressive all year,” said Chase, who also praised her offense for staying back on Ashland righty Kaitlyn Ferro and not trying to do too much.
“That’s the one thing that’s been the challenge for us, especially in the beginning of the year,” Chase said. “We just let them know you’ve got to wait and you’ve got to be patient.”
As for Lang, the early lead allowed her to be aggressive and attack the strike zone. Fittingly, she ended the game with a strikeout and was all smiles as her teammates rushed the circle.
“That is one of the best feelings, the pile at the end, the faces coming towards me,” Lang said.
Hailee Cunningham singled and Abby Doughty singled and scored for Ashland.