LAWRENCE — About to go to bat in the 10th inning and with the bases loaded, Nokomis freshman Raegan King admitted to her teammates that she was nervous. But thanks to a little pep talk, King’s nerves didn’t show once she swung the bat.

King’s bases-loaded triple broke a scoreless tie, Mia Coots struck out 19 batters, and the Nokomis softball team remained undefeated with a 4-1 10-inning win over Lawrence on Friday.

Nokomis (15-0), the last undefeated team in Class B North, survived its toughest test of the season heading into its regular-season finale Wednesday at Maine Central Institute. Fourth-place Lawrence fell to 11-4, with two of those losses coming to the Warriors.

“That’s a great team; we’re going to see them in the playoffs for sure,” Nokomis coach J.D. McLellan said. “We haven’t had to go this late in a game, so that’s a good showing for us that we could stay in the game and still have a good head about us.”

Ghost runner Sydney King started the 10th on second base and reached third after Lawrence reliever Sage Reed issued one-out walks to Camryn King (2 for 4) and Leah Tasker. Raegan King, nerves and all, belted a triple to center field that cleared the bases to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead, and she later scored on Megan Watson’s groundout.

Coots, a junior, remembered when she was in King’s cleats in the not-so-distant past, and gave her a little pep talk beforehand.


“I remember being a freshman and being nervous,” Coots said, “but we, the older veterans talked to her a little bit and just talked her through it, calmed her down a little bit, and said, ‘You just need to play softball like you’ve played softball all season.’ She has one of our highest batting averages, and then she just went out there with confidence and hit it like we knew she could.”

King’s triple was one of the few hard-hit balls in a game featuring a trio of strong pitching performances.

Coots, wearing a pair of sparkly “K’s” on her cheeks — one forward, one backward, an idea she got from a teammate last year — struck out at least one batter in every inning and whiffed the side in the first, second and eighth innings. She allowed five hits and walked three batters.

“My biggest worry was that we haven’t gone this deep, so when you get into the 10th inning and you face a team that can hit, you make mistakes as you get tired. and she didn’t; she just kept going and going,” McLellan said.

Lawrence starter Jasmyn Johnson also was dominant, allowing four hits and striking out eight over six innings. Reed, who started in the circle against Nokomis in a 5-2 loss May 5, came in from shortstop in the seventh and allowed three hits over four innings while striking out seven batters.

Both teams had their chances to grab the lead earlier in the game. Lawrence loaded the bases with no one out in the sixth inning, but Coots struck out the next two batters and second baseman Hope Brooks robbed Rylee Veilleux of a hit with a diving stop. Nokomis had two runners on base in the third and seventh innings, but strikeouts ended the threat each time.


“Great effort,” Lawrence coach Joey Marcoux said. “What else can you say? We had a chance, they had a couple chances. … We’re in the playoffs, so it’s just a matter of where we fall and who we end up with.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the kids. We just couldn’t find a way to touch home plate, that’s all.”

Lawrence scored with one out in the 10th when Kaylee Elkins tripled home Ruby Pierce, but Coots induced a strikeout and a popup to end the game.

Maylie Knox and Gabbie Nickerson each had a hit and a single for Lawrence.

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