After a slight schedule adjustment, the Nokomis Warriors will travel up I-95 Tuesday night to take on York High School for the Class B softball state title at Coffin Field in Brewer. The game initially scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. has now been moved to Tuesday under the lights at 7 p.m. Here is everything you need to know heading into the state final.
Live audio of the Class B State Championship softball game will be available on Sports Radio 1160 The Score and 1160thescore.com.
The Warriors enter Tuesday’s game as one of the two unbeaten softball outfits remaining in the state of Maine (Bucksport is the other). Spearheaded by junior pitcher Mia Coots, the team completed a perfect 16-0 regular season in which Coots recorded her 500th career strikeout. The team then rolled through the playoffs, beginning with a 14-0 quarter-final demolition of eight-seeded Oceanside at Colby College.
Nokomis would survive a scare in the semi-final, outdueling a strong Old Town team 2-1. The Warriors grabbed two runs in the second inning via an RBI double from Addison Hawthorne and an Old Town error. That would be all the help Coots needed, giving up just two hits in seven innings of work. She struck out 14 in the victory allowing just one earned run.
Coots was named the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference (KVAC) Class B North player of the year for the second consecutive season for her excellence in the circle. Nokomis were named champions of the conference, and coach J.D McLellan was named coach of the year.
Mia Coots Records a Strikeout in the Class B North Final vs. Hermon. (Mix Maine Media)
By The Numbers
Joining Coots on the KVAC Class B All-Conference squad were seniors Meagan Watson and Camryn King. The two have boasted Ted Williams-like numbers all year long. King hits .578 with 14 RBIs and a home run. Watson is right there with her. She bats .491, having driven in 25 runs and adding three homers from the cleanup slot.
The pitching rotation for JD McLellan’s club has been short, to put it lightly. Coots accounts for 117 out of 123 total innings pitched. She has started all 19 games with a 19-0 record, giving up 35 total hits and just eight earned runs. That boils down to an earned run average of .479.
Her dominance this season has come massively through the strikeout, sending 238 batters to the dugout by way of the “K.” The defense behind Coots has also held firm, having committed just 14 errors thus far.
Nokomis will take on an equally impressive York team who, including playoff games, are 18-1. Their one loss came in May to Class A Brunswick by a score of 3-2. Since then, the Wildcats have won 14 in a row, outscoring the opposition 141-25 in those games.
York’s path to the Southern Maine title was more straightforward than Nokomis’. They kicked things off with a 14-4 mercy of number nine Wells and continued that momentum into the South semi-final, scooting past Poland 8-4.
In the Southern Maine championship game, the Wildcats scored eight runs in the first three innings and never looked back. Junior ace McKayla Kortes pitched the full seven innings, giving up just three hits and one run in an 8-1 victory over Lake Region.
Kortes has started 12 of York’s 19 games with a minuscule .808 earned run average. She has also been their best source of run support, batting .556 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs. That type of run production will be massive for York when facing Coots in the opposite circle.
York has consistently hit the ball with power. As a team, the Wildcats have racked up 13 home runs and 54 total extra-base hits. They search for their first state title since 1989.
Nokomis faced an early exit in 2022. After locking up the number one seed in Class B North, they fell to the Cinderella story that was number eight Winslow in the quarter-finals.
According to Coots, that loss played a vital role in the teams’ preparation moving forward, saying, “It really impacted how hard we worked, last year we got complacent and looked ahead of game one, but this year we have grinded through everything and go one game at a time.
That mindset has radiated throughout the team, with Camryn King reverberating the message, “Our team’s mentality has been to just win one game at a time and not get down because of one play.”
Camryn King Drills a Double vs. Hermon in the Class B North Final. (Mix Maine Media)
With just one game remaining, there is no looking past Tuesday’s final. It is win or bust for the Warriors, who have never won a state championship in softball. The game plan, however, is simple. “Get ahead early and buckle down,” said Coots.
A solid strategy, considering she has held batters to a .090 average. Combine that type of success with timely hitting, and Nokomis will undoubtedly be traveling back to Newport with a golden glove on Tuesday night.
“We haven’t seen this team, so of course, it’s a totally different look, but we are very excited,” Coots concluded.