Operating on unfinished trade, Nokomis softball will get early revenge on Winslow

NEWPORT — The Nokomis softball team is getting an early start on some unfinished business.

Led by 13 strikeouts from pitcher Mia Coots, the Warriors cruised to an 11-1 win in six innings over Winslow on Monday afternoon. For Nokomis, the game provided some early payback for last year’s Class B North final, when the Black Raiders beat the Warriors 10-9 to reach the state title game.

“This year, coming into (the season), we’re looking to go even further than we did last year,” Coots said. “We have to make sure that we’re staying within ourselves and staying confident. That’s the biggest piece.”

Nokomis improved to 2-0, but the loss to Winslow in the regional final still stings. Nokomis finished last season 14-6. Nokomis has games against Cony and Lawrence looming.

“We should have never finished the way we did (last season),” Nokomis head coach JD McLellan said. “We understand it. Several (of the players) worked extremely hard in the offseason… I think we’re going to be pretty good going down the stretch, I hope. It’s going to be interesting trying to get by Lawrence. And I don’t know what Cony’s got. And Hermon is pretty good up there, they’ve got a pretty decent team. It’s going to be fun, that’s for darn sure.”

Coots was dominant in the circle for Nokomis. The sophomore struck out 13, including the first six batters she faced, providing some pop with her fastball. She allowed a run on two hits, with no walks.

“Knowing what happened last year and having that history (with Winslow), the game plan was to come in and make contact (offensively),” Coots said. “For me, personally, it was just to attack batters and get into their weak spots. My confidence was going in there and owning the plate.”

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Nokomis’ offense managed to provide a solid cushion for Coots, scoring seven runs in the first two innings, including a double and triple by catcher Megan Watson, who had three RBIs. The offensive output was a welcome sight for McLellan, who said the Warriors struggled with hitting in the preseason.

Winslow third baseman Leah Knight receives the throw while forcing out Nokomis baserunner Hannah Bennett during softball action Monday in Newport. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“In the preseason, I was getting kind of worried, like ‘Man, what did I do wrong?” McLellan said. “But then, all of a sudden they’re swinging at that inside pitch, understanding the curve of the ball a little bit better. Understanding to lay off that (rising fastball), which is so hard.”

Hope Brooks also added three hits for the Warriors.

Winslow (1-2) managed to get to Coots in the fourth inning, when Harly Pomerleau plated Emma Michaud with an RBI single down the left field line.

“We’re still a very young team,” Winslow head coach Kacey Larsen said. “We’re trying to get the kinks out. It’s just a little bit of growing pains.”

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The Black Raiders had their struggles in the field, making three errors. But Michaud held his own in the circle, striking out seven batters in six innings of work.

Dave Dyer – 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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