GORHAM – It’s meant as an award of accomplishment. But Nokomis senior pitcher Mia Coots looked at last year’s Class B runner-up plaque and saw a source for motivation.

“I put it in front of my mirror, and I looked at it every single day, all summer long,” she said. “I said ‘That’s not going to happen to me again.'”

Coots made sure it didn’t, throwing a two-hitter to lead Nokomis to a 2-1 victory over York in the Class B final Saturday at the University of Southern Maine, giving the Warriors their first state championship.

“I’m on the verge of sobbing, and I’m also grinning ear to ear,” said Coots, who struck out nine. “This is just the most special moment I’ve ever gotten to experience.”

The game was a rematch of last year’s final, won 2-1 by York. An RBI triple by Addison Hawthorne in the top of the sixth broke a scoreless deadlock and put Nokomis (17-2) in front.

“We were ready, we’ve been preparing all week,” Hawthorne said. “We came here to win, and that’s exactly what we were going to do.”


York, which got nine strikeouts from McKayla Kortes in a three-hitter, saw its 35-game winning streak come to an end. Maddie Fitzgerald had an RBI double for the Wildcats.

“We have a great team over here,” York Coach Kevin Giannino said. “We knew to beat us, it would take an extraordinary performance. That’s what we got. Mia was just sensational.”

Coots, a USM recruit playing on her future field, took a no-hitter into the sixth, using her changeup and spin in the zone to baffle and confound the potent York lineup.

“I knew coming into this that my team was going to need me at my best,” Coots said. “My mentality (was) to go out there and (think) ‘You have to beat me. I don’t have to beat you. You have to beat me.'”

Still, she needed runs, and she got them in the sixth. Raegan King reached when her pop-up fell behind the pitching circle for a hit, and Hawthorne hit a sinking liner that landed inside the right-field line for a triple. An error on the throw allowed her to come home, making it 2-0.

York rallied in the bottom of the sixth, as Emily Estes broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single and Fitzgerald followed with a double to left. The potential tying run was on base for the heart of York’s order, but Coots got Kortes to pop up and Sarah Orso to fly out.


“It’s not her pitching, it’s definitely her attitude,” Hawthorne said. “She just uplifts us all. She’s the glue to our team. … Without her attitude and dedication to winning and working hard, we wouldn’t be the team we are.”

The game had its share of mistakes – the teams made three errors apiece, and four pop-ups fell as fielders struggled with the sun – but also had the drama of last year’s tight and tense final.

“It was a great game again,” Nokomis Coach J.D. McLellan said. “At any moment, one little hit could’ve changed the outcome of the game, and Mia threw a great game at the end. … It was big. It’s kind of a monkey off our back.”

York got runners on third in the fourth and fifth, but Coots denied the Wildcats both times. In the fourth, Fitzgerald took two bases on one of those pop-ups that landed harmlessly, then went to third on a wild pitch, but Coots stranded her there. In the fifth, Bella Santini reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a popout to first, but Coots got another pop-up to end the threat.

“Against a pitcher like that, you’ve got to capitalize on your opportunities,” Giannino said. “This was a goal to get back here and win it. They fell a little bit short, but they feel good about themselves.”

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