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    Nokomis softball ends York's 35-game win streak in Class B state championship game

    By Brandon Brown, Portsmouth Herald,

    2024-06-15

    GORHAM, Maine — The University of Southern Maine has been a pain in the side for the York High School softball team over the years.

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    The Wildcats took a 35-game win streak entering Saturday afternoon's Class B state championship game with Nokomis on USM's campus. However, the Wildcats suffered their first loss since 2022 and fell 2-1 in a pitcher's duel between their own McKayla Kortes and Nokomis' Mia Coots.

    It was York's first loss since losing the Class B regional semifinals to Gardiner two years ago, also at USM. York beat Nokomis by the same score in last year's championship.

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    "That's a tough loss, we have a great team over here," York head coach Kevin Giannino said. "We knew (in order) to beat us, it would take an extraordinary performance and that's what we got. (Coots) was sensational and that was the difference."

    Coots went seven innings, allowed one run on three hits, and struck out nine. Kortes' stat line was practically identical, going seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and striking out nine.

    "(Kortes) pitched out of her mind, she was sensational," Giannino said. "We had a couple of big opportunities there a couple of times to go-ahead or tie it up, we just couldn't deliver."

    York's Fitzgerald breaks up collective no-hitter in fourth

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    Neither Kortes nor Coots allowed a hit through the first three innings, and the collective no-hitter ended when York sophomore Maddie Fitzgerald hit an infield double to shortstop in the fourth.

    Nokomis second baseman Reagan King and shortstop Jenna Sawtelle appeared to lose the Fitzgerald pop-up in the sun, and the ball dropped between the two. Noticing nobody was manning second, Fitzgerald hustled in for the two-bagger.

    The same instance occurred for Nokomis sixth. After getting Coots to fly out to start the inning, Kortes got King to hit a pop-up that dropped between Kortes and shortstop Sarah Orso.

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    "A little pop-up in the infield can be the game sometimes," Giannino said. "That's why you love the game, unfortunately it wasn't too beautiful today for us."

    Nokomis scores both its runs in sixth

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    After King reached base, Addison Hawthorne laced an RBI double, scoring King. Hawthorne raced for third as the ball was thrown back into the outfield. The throw went past York third baseman Ella Hickey, and Hawthorne got up and scored.

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    York responds in bottom half; strands potential game-tying run

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    York wasted no time responding as Estes singled to left and scored on a Fitzgerald one-out double to left. Fitzgerald was left stranded at second as Coots got Kortes and Orso to fly out to end the threat.

    "Against a pitcher like (Coots), you've got to capitalize on your opportunities, and we let a couple slip away," Giannino said.

    The Wildcats also stranded a runner on third in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fifth inning, King, at second base, snared an over-the-shoulder catch; had the ball dropped, Ava Brent likely would have scored from second and gave York 1-0 lead.

    York's run through the tournament

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    The Wildcats beat Greely (14-3), Gardiner (10-0) and beat Freeport (12-6) in its road to Saturday's state championship game, and finished with a record of 19-1.

    "The girls were tremendous, they came in from day one and worked hard," Giannino said. "This was their goal to get back here and win it. But they feel good about themselves."

    This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Nokomis softball ends York's 35-game win streak in Class B state championship game

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