OAKLAND — As Friday afternoon’s softball game between Messalonskee and Brewer unfolded, the question wasn’t, “How is Brewer averaging 16 runs per game?” or “How is Brewer undefeated?” It was more like, “How far can this Brewer team go in the Eastern A playoffs?

And based on Friday’s performance, the Witches have as good a chance as anybody to go pretty far.

Brewer banged out 14 hits, including at least one from every slot in the lineup, and Alexa Grindle pitched a five-hitter as the Witches coasted to a 9-0 victory.

“They’re a very loose team,” Brewer coach Skip Estes said. “They’ve got a lot of confidence. Hopefully, we can keep it going. We’ll probably lose one or two here or there but, hopefully, we can make a run at it at the end.”

Brewer (7-0) scored three runs in the first on some wild pitches and a two-run single by Sam Pellegrino, who finished 3 for 4. Morgan Small and Cassie Harvey each added two hits and No. 9 hitter Mandy Bailey was 2 for 3 with a walk. Sydney Birch pinch-hit to lead off the seventh and drilled a triple over the right fielder’s head.

“This is the best-hitting team I’ve seen since the Leavitt Hornets back in the mid-2000s, with Sammy St. Hilaire,” Messalonskee coach Leo Bouchard said. “That crew could hit the freaking ball. This team reminds me very much of them. One through 9, they’re aggressive. Geez, he pulls a kid off his bench and she hits a triple.”

Messalonskee (6-1) put two runners on in both the first and fourth innings. Those were the best chances for the Eagles, and Grindle, who struck out three and did not walk a batter, shut them down.

“Alexa’s been kind of off and on. Today, she was on fire,” Estes said.

“When they hit the ball, they hit the gaps,” Bouchard said. “When we hit the ball, we hit it at ’em. We hit the ball, we hit it hard — right in their gloves. We couldn’t buy a break today and the only breaks we had were bad ones.”

Another hitting highlight for Brewer was Grindle’s first career home run. It came in the fourth with two out and a runner on third and she turned on a 1-1 pitch and sent it over the left-field fence.

“That was just a miracle,” Grindle said, laughing. “That will never happen again, but that was fun.”

The game also featured a few sparkling defensive plays. The only time Small was retired was when Messalonskee center fielder Courtney Veilleux ran down her deep drive to the right-center field gap. Veilleux also came in and picked a sinking line drive off the grass to retire Delaney Davis. Brewer right fielder Emily Gilmore had one that ranked with Veilleux’s second catch when she dove to snag a foul ball off the bat of Kylee Knight.

Those defensive plays were almost the only bright spots for Messalonskee — almost, because this was still a game in early May, and not in the playoffs.

“We’re not quite halfway through (the season) here,” Bouchard said. “We will recover from this.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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