OAKLAND — The secret that makes Morgan Wills so good? It’s really no secret at all, her catcher says.

“It’s that she doesn’t know how good she is,” Messalonskee senior Brook Martin said after Wills tossed three innings of dominant, scoreless relief in a 9-1 win over Nokomis on Wednesday afternoon to lock down the Eagles’ sixth win in seven games this spring.

“She doesn’t know. She has this fire, and she commands the zone so well. It’s amazing.”

Wills went three innings, struck out seven, didn’t allow a walk and gave up just one hit — a bloop single to left to Mia Coots to start the seventh. Wills fanned the first five batters she faced, four of them whiffing at third-strike offerings.

It was power, power and more power.

Martin cautioned that speed is far from Wills’ lone weapon.

“She also has a killer changeup, too,” Martin said. “But when you get ahead on batters that have trouble catching up, why go to the slow stuff? You’ve got to get ahead and stay ahead, and she works ahead and is confident.”

Wills replaced starter Kate Douglass, after Douglass worked four innings of one-hit ball. The lone Nokomis run came in the first inning, when Mandi King began the game with an infield hit, stole second and eventually came home on back-to-back sacrifice bunts.

Messalonskee’s Kristen Dube (12) is tagged out at home plate by Nokomis catcher Megan Watson on Wednesday in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Douglass retired nine in a row following King’s hit.

“We have two very solid pitchers,” Messalonskee coach Samantha Moore said. “I knew coming into the season, a lot of teams weren’t going to know what to expect. We see a lot of teams twice, so I kind of wanted to save (Wills) for the tail end of the season to start her.”

By now, though, the opposition is catching up — even if their bats have trouble doing so.

Wills has been a starter throughout her youth softball career, but in the absence of a freshmen season last spring, she needed some time to prove to both herself and her teammates that she could handle the task of recording big outs in big games.

So far, so good.

Nokomis’ Mandi King crosses home plate safely as Messalonskee catcher Brooke Martin fields the throw Wednesday in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

“With nine seniors and just being a little sophomore — technically ‘a freshman’ — I was a little nervous, but I’ve been playing softball for a long time,” Wills said. “I knew I could hang with these girls.”

She’s doing the job admirably as the Eagles’ go-to closer.

“I’ve always been a starter, the one to go all seven innings,” Wills said about shifting her mentality to a shorter sprint to the finish line. “It’s definitely something different, but it’s still just as good. I know I can go way more than seven, so it’s nothing I worry about.”

Certainly given the steady diet of fastballs she fed the Nokomis lineup, she didn’t appear to be worried about much at all.

“It makes my job so much easier. So much easier,” Martin said. “She’s all around the zone, she spots well, it’s great.”

After falling in the early 1-0 hole, the Eagles scored twice in the third courtesy of back-to-back RBI singles form Morgan Genness and Douglass. They added two more in the fourth with RBIs from Maddy Card and Martin, and then the home team broke it open with a four-spot in the fifth.

It was more than enough to get Douglass the win in the circle and set the stage for Wills to lock it down.

“(Wills) just blends in so well with the group,” Moore said. “It could be really intimidating to come in as a sophomore and be with nine seniors. But she just fits right in. I don’t think you’d be able to pick her out of a lineup as a sophomore.”

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