GARDINER — The Nokomis softball team is still trying to figure out where it stands in Class B North one-third of the way into the season.

The Warriors have lost a couple of lopsided games but have taken care of business when the opportunity presented itself. Friday, against a depleted Gardiner squad, they seized one of those opportunities with a 16-7 win.

Nokomis improved 3-2 while Gardiner fell to 1-3.

Nokomis coach J.D. McLellan said his team is improving on some of the smaller aspects of the game but admitted, “we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re really young.”

Some of those young players are coming through. Friday, freshman Maci Leali had a break-out game with three doubles — among the Warriors 12 hits — and four runs batted in.

“I struck out a lot at first, but now I’m finally getting in a groove the last two games,” Leali said. “I’m finally relaxing, I think.”


The Warriors built a big lead and were on the verge of the 12-run mercy rule until Gardiner senior Bri Brochu stole home in the sixth inning. One of the top players in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference the past three years, Brochu cannot play in the field due to a dislocated shoulder. That hasn’t affected her hitting or base-running, though. Friday, she had a pair of infield hits, stole three bases and tripled to the fence in right.

“It’s her left shoulder,” said her father and Gardiner coach Don Brochu. “She’s tucking it in and still hits hard.”

The Tigers (1-3) are even younger than the Warriors this season. During Friday’s game, Don Brochu played eight freshmen at one time or another.

Nokomis (3-2) got to freshman starter Jillian Bisson in the middle innings as Leali doubled in the second, third and fifth, the last of which driving in three runs. Sophomore Austin Leighton contributed a double and two singles while Audrey Davis, Britney Bubar and Austin Davis each had a pair of hits.

“We’ve had some good games and bad games,” starting pitcher Libby Dunivan said. “We’re learning from everything. I think as the season goes on we’ll get stronger.”

The Tigers scored a pair of runs in the third on Maddy Curran’s two-run double, and Brochu tripled and scored in the fifth. But they still trailed 16-3 entering the bottom of the sixth. Kylie Sirois opened the sixth with a double to right field and scored on Brochu’s infield hit. Brochu took second on a low throw on her hit and promptly stole third. With two outs she helped the Tigers avoid the 12-run mercy rule on a delayed steal of home.

Dunivan, relying on a good screwball that nipped the outside corner on right-handed batters, struck out 11.

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