BREWER – Brooke Harris pitched a one-hitter and an unearned run proved to be enough as Lee Academy edged Buckfield 1-0 to win the Class D softball championship at Coffin Field on Saturday.

Buckfield (15-2) was simply unable to generate any type of offense against Harris, who had the batters swinging at air. The sophomore was flirting with a no-hitter until Deanna Lavoie singled with two-outs in the sixth inning. The ball was a slow roller that Lee third baseman Dana Houghton was unable to field cleanly.

“Our batters never got (comfortable) against her,” Buckfield coach Ken Farrington said. “She threw a curveball, and we are just not used to seeing that type of pitching over our way.”

Buckfield shut out Lee in the 2002 and 2003 state championship games.

Lee scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a hit down the rightfield line. Aarika Ritchie had singled with two outs and was able to race home after an errant relay throw.

“That was a mental mistake,” Farrington said. “Besides that one play, the girls played a good game. After the third inning, I could see how the game was shaping up, and knew a key hit or error would be the difference. We managed to cut down another runner at the plate, to keep the score to one run.”

Bucks centerfielder Alyssa Henderson threw a strike to catcher Tiffany Dunn, who tagged out Marci Moors.

In the top of the seventh, Kasey Farrington reached on an error, but was erased on Shayna Shackford’s fielders choice. Skackford then stole second base, but Harris induced Desiree Brackett to pop out and Lindsey Neal grounded out.

“We are pretty excited,” Harris said. “We knew that we needed to stay focused.”

Brackett was the hard-luck loser, despite scattering five hits. Brackett allowed singles by Amanda Gifford and Harris in the first, but then retired 14 batters in a row. She finished with two strikeouts and no walks.

“Desiree pitched a great game,” Farrington said. “A couple of mistakes hurt us, but a score of 1-0 is how a state game should be. It is the two best teams.”

Harris struck out five and the only other Buck runner was Neal, who drew a walk with two outs in the second inning.

“This was the best game overall this season,” Lee coach Ron Weatherbee said. “There have been games that Brooke has been off, but she only walked one and our defense was almost solid.”


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