WINSLOW — Any questions about how Winslow High School would replace Hillary Libby, the powerhouse pitcher who led the Black Raiders to the regional finals last spring, were answered on Thursday.

Junior Broghan Gagnon put on a clinic against Nokomis Regional High School, holding the Warriors hitless in Winslow’s 4-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B softball win at Laverdiere Field.

It was Gagnon’s first career no-hitter. And perhaps the best part of it all: So focused on the task at hand, Gagnon wasn’t even aware she was on the verge of history until after she’d recorded the final out.

“I did not know it was a no-hitter, but knowing it now, it’s pretty cool,” Gagnon said. “We really came together as a team. When they would hit the balls I pitched, my team behind me would pick me up and help me out out there. We were really on our game today.”

“I had no doubt that we were going to fill the void left by Hillary,” said Winslow coach Steve Bodge, whose team improved to 3-0 on the young season. “Hillary was one of a kind, especially that last season. Players like that only come along once every 10 or 12 years, but (Gagnon) is a great pitcher. She throws strikes, and if you can play defense like we did today, you’re going to get those type of outcomes.”

Gagnon’s day was a master class in pitching to contact. Against an aggressive Nokomis lineup, Gagnon needed only four strikeouts to finish the job. She didn’t issue a walk and threw only 72 pitches in total to get through seven nearly perfect innings.

The Warriors (1-2) mustered only two baserunners all afternoon, with Hanna Meservey reaching on a two-out error in the fourth inning and Alyssa Ellis doing the same two innings later.

In truth, there wasn’t much Nokomis could have done diferently. Gagnon changed speeds effectively and mixed up her pitch locations enough to keep the Warriors guessing. And when the Warriors did put the bat on the ball, the Winslow defense was there to back Gagnon.

Second baseman Ashley Lachance turned in a gem in the fourth, ranging quickly to her left to snare a one-hopper off the bat of Nokomis shortstop Aren Herrick that seemed destined to break up the no-hit bid.

Instead, it turned into a routine play in much the same way that Haley Ward reeled in a deep fly to center field in the first inning or Sarah Guimond recovered from a bad read on a fly ball to make a lunging grab on Maci Leali’s rocket to left in the fifth.

“I know my defense behind me is solid, and they can do their job,” Gagnon said.

“She pitched great and she hit her spots,” Nokomis coach J.D. McLellan said of Gagnon. “I just told to girls to get up there and start swinging. I can’t wait to see them next time at our place, that will be fun.”

The Winslow offense gave Gagnon all the runs she would need in the top of the first. Ward, Guimond and Cassie Demers started the frame with three consecutive singles, with Ward scoring on Demers’ liner to center and Guimond coming around on a Britney Bubar wild pitch.

Bubar did her best to keep the Warriors in the game, retiring 10 of 11 batters in the second through fifth innings.

“When we’re warming up, I usually go over and ask (Bubar) what’s working and what’s not,” McLellan said. “It wasn’t until after the first inning, I said, ‘OK, you didn’t tell me what was working.’ It was pretty much my fault. She said her fastball was off, so we didn’t throw much of that stuff. We just simply threw junk, jumk, junk, and hopefully we could keep them off-balance, which we pretty much did.”

Two delayed steals put Black Raiders into scoring position in that fifth frame, with Demers (2 for 3, two RBIs) singling home Ward (2 for 3, two runs scored) and Bailey Robbins putting the finishing touches on the scoring by plating Demers with a base hit that hugged the third base line.

Armed with a 4-0 lead to start the seventh, Gagnon got Meservey to ground out to shortstop, Austin Leighton to fly out to left field and Leali looking at a called third strike over the inside corner to end it.

Almost exactly a year to the day, Libby no-hit Nokomis in an early-season meeting between the two teams. On Thursday, Gagnon made sure that the rest of the league saw that the Black Raiders have no intentions of letting up this season — at least not in the pitching circle.

“I did feel pressure coming into this year,” Gagnon admitted. “But I knew that because I had Hillary and Hannah Doble before me, I was ready for it. They taught me everything I needed to know.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarretGWC