NEWPORT — Different year. Different round. Similar ending.

Thanks to a fast start and 14 strikeouts from pitcher Emma Michaud, the No. 8 Winslow softball team sank top-seeded Nokomis 6-3 in a Class B North quarterfinal game Friday. The Black Raiders (11-7) will move on to play Lawrence in the semifinals. The Warriors finish 15-2.

It’s the second straight season Winslow knocked Nokomis out of the playoffs. The Black Raiders beat the Warriors in the regional final last spring. However, Nokomis won both regular season meetings, 11-1 and 2-0.

“We knew we could beat (Nokomis), we did it last year,” said Michaud, who also had a single and an RBI. “It’s all about attitude. When we all come together and are really positive in the dugout, it really works for us and we’re really hard to beat.”

The Black Raiders will play at No. 5 Lawrence in a regional semifinal game Saturday at 1 p.m.

On Friday, a few mistakes doomed Nokomis. Winslow led 2-0 in the fourth inning, before a wild pitch and an error plated Michaud and Harly Pomerleau to make it a 4-0 game. A Nokomis error in the fifth inning helped Bella Morris and Leah Knight score and extend Winslow’s lead to 6-0.


That was more than enough for Michaud, who went the distance for Winslow, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits,. She struck out 14 and walking one. Michaud was able to do most of her damage with her fastball.

“Hitting my spots (was key),” Michaud said. “I didn’t try overpowering them, wasn’t trying to keep them off-balance too much. It’s a hard-to-hit pitch when it hits the right spot.”

“I was especially impressed with how hard Emma was throwing today,” Winslow head coach Kasey Larsen added. “How much command she had on the plate. We knew coming in that Nokomis was going to be a really good hitting team. We didn’t try to overpower them by throwing too hard and we didn’t try to get too fancy by trying to throw a lot of pitches.”

Winslow pitcher Emma Michaud prepares to deliver a pitch against Nokomis in a Class B North quarterfinal game Friday in Newport. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Winslow set the tone early, scoring two runs off Nokomis pitcher Mia Coots in the first inning. Knight and Kate Nichols started the game with back-to-back singles. Neveaeh Duplessie and Michaud were able to drive them in with RBI groundouts.

“The early start was pivotal,” Larsen said. “It relaxes the team for the rest of the game, it helps them settle in, they’re not playing from behind, they’re not chasing. I think it really set the tone for them to stay up and stay positive.”

Knight led the Black Raiders offensively with two hits, including a double.


Nokomis showed life offensively in the sixth inning, when Megan Watson plated Racheal Creswell and Camryn King with an RBI double to left field to cut the deficit to 6-2. Addy Hawthorne added a run for the Warriors in the seventh inning when she scored from third on a wild pitch.

“We picked a bad day to have a bad game,” Nokomis head coach J.D. McLellan said. “I wish we had had this day two weeks ago or three weeks ago. We could handle the bunts (defensively) during the year, we understand the situations. (Michaud) threw a great game.”

Coots, who has dominated batters throughout the season, struck out 10, including a stretch of eight straight through the first four innings. She allowed five hits and walked one batter.

“This is about three games short of what we anticipated,” McLellan said. “Last year was a game shorter than we anticipated. We’re only losing one starting senior… Next year, I expect to be at the top of the line again if we play well.”

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