BREWER — The party in left field kept growing as the state champion Brewer High softball team members were being swarmed by family, friends and Brewer baseball players, also with gold medals around their necks (from their own state championship earlier).

“They support us. We support them. The whole community has come together,” Brewer pitcher Libby Hewes said.

Hewes threw a four-hit shutout to lead the Witches to a 1-0 win over Greely for the Class B championship on a bright Saturday afternoon at Coffin Field.

Brewer completed a perfect season at 20-0. It was the first state title for the Witches since they won Class A in 2008.

Over in right field, the gathering was more subdued. Greely players circled around Coach Rob Hale.

“I told them they need to look at the big picture,” Hale said. “This one game is not a reflection of where they’ve come from – where we were in May, when we were 5-7 and playing awful softball … and we play the last three games with no errors and we’re in a state championship game. You don’t get that too often.”

Greely, the South’s sixth seed, completed its surprising run at 13-8. The Rangers reached the title game with an eight-game winning streak.

The difference Saturday was a fourth-inning run after Brewer senior M.J. Sellars led off the inning with a triple down the third-base line.

“(Greely pitcher Kelsey Currier) pitches on the outside of the plate and I knew I needed to send it to the other side,” Sellars said.

Rebecca Gideon followed with a grounder to second. The throw home was late as Sellars slid in safely.

Brewer had other chances to score, including a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth. But Currier did not yield. The Witches stranded nine runners.

“She gets tougher every time there are runners on base,” catcher Maddie Rawnsley said. “We know we can trust her. She has courage and heart, and leaves it all out on the field.”

Hewes kept Greely off balance with her change-up and carried a no-hitter into the sixth.

“I said at the beginning of the year that my defense and offense would make us really competitive,” Brewer Coach Skip Estes said. “But it was how my young pitchers matured. Libby’s had a great season.”

Greely’s Delia Knox broke up the no-hitter in the sixth with a bloop single to left. She stole second. Sawyer Dusch dropped a single into left-center. Hale, sensing his limited chances, sent Knox home. Left fielder Olivia Cattan got the ball in to Hewes, who fired home to get Knox.

“We practice that play every single day,” Cattan said.

Hale said, “we had not been hitting (so) I took a chance on that. It was a great relay.”

Dusch went to second on the play but was stranded after two flyouts to center.

With one out in the seventh, Mollie Obar singled. With two outs, Rawnsley crushed a ball to left-center. But a slight wind was blowing in, holding it up.

“I thought it was out,” Rawnsley said. “I was looking at it, thinking ‘oh my gosh.’ “

It fell in. Cattan got to the ball and threw it in quickly. Rawnsley settled for a double with Hale holding Obar at third.

“We’re usually more aggressive but that’s the best defensive team we’ve played against,” Hale said.

Hewes induced a groundout to end the game.

“They’re a good team and hats off to them,” said Currier, “but I couldn’t ask for a better team to play on.

“We turned our confidence level up (after the 5-7 start) and worked harder.”

Currier, one of two Greely seniors, will play softball at Thomas College next year. Rawnsley, the other senior, is done with softball. She will swim at Merrimack College next year.

Greely was making its third appearance in the state final. The Rangers won once, in 2002.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @KevinThomasPPH