BREWER — The York softball team had to travel a total of five hours to play in the Class B championship. Then the Wildcats had to wait an extra hour just to get on the field.

No matter. When you’re ending a championship drought that’s lasted a generation, you put up with a hassle or two.

McKayla Kortes struck out 10 while navigating out of late jams, and York got big hits from senior Ella Moon and freshman Bella Santini to defeat Nokomis, 2-1, at Brewer High School’s Coffin Field for its first state title since 1989.

“I’m definitely ecstatic,” said Kortes, a junior, whose team finished 19-1. “It’s huge for us. Some of my best friends are seniors. … It’s huge to end on a win, and (for) our last game together to end on a win.”

Nokomis (19-1), playing in its first state championship, got 13 strikeouts from junior standout Mia Coots, but saw its title hopes dashed by missed opportunities. Trailing by a run, the Warriors put a runner on third with no outs in the fourth and loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but came away empty-handed both times.

“Our offense didn’t come through,” Nokomis Coach JD McLellan said. “I can’t really complain too much, you talk about the state championship and (being) 19-0 coming into this game.”


A downpour during the fifth inning of the preceding Class D final between Machias and North Yarmouth Academy drenched the infield and delayed that game for an hour and 40 minutes, and cast doubt on whether the later game between the Wildcats and Warriors would even be played on the same day.

They got their chance. And the Wildcats were ready.

“There was tremendous determination by the girls to perform,” Coach Kevin Giannino said. “We talked to them on the bus and they said ‘Coach, we’re playing tonight. We don’t care how late we have to play. We’ll stay here all night if we have to.’ ”

The Wildcats struck first. In the second inning, Moon – moments after making a diving catch in right field to rob Camryn King of a hit in the first inning – smacked a 1-1 offering over the right field wall, putting York ahead 1-0.

“I wanted to leave everything out there. This is our last game, no matter what,” Moon said. “If that means doing that, then that’s what it’s going to take. I’m going to try my best.”

Nokomis pulled even in the bottom of the second when Megan Watson singled and scored on a passed ball, but the Wildcats went to the other end of the experience spectrum to go back in front. Ella Hickey doubled with two outs in the fourth, and Giannino called for Santini, a freshman, to pinch hit.


“It was just a feel,” he said. “Bella gave us the better opportunity to maybe hit the ball into the gap.”

She came through with a single to right field, scoring Hickey for a 2-1 lead.

“I was very nervous, but I knew that I was able to do it,” Santini said. “I told myself to be confident, and just hit it as hard as I could.”

The lead held, though not without pressure from the Warriors. Nokomis’s Raegan King reached third with no outs in the fourth, but Kortes got three straight strikeouts to end the threat. In the fifth, Addie Hawthorne singled and Sydney King and Camryn King reached on a walk and fielder’s choice, respectively, but Kortes got Hope Brooks to ground to third for a play at home and Raegan King to pop to catcher Carlie Welch for another escape.

“I know how to lock in,” said Kortes, who also stranded runners in the sixth and seventh innings. “I step back, take a deep breath and just thought of my teammates. … I knew that if I gave a pitch down the middle, they’d have my back. I wasn’t really worried about that.”

Giannino praised his junior pitcher, and the defense behind her.

“She was determined out there, you could see it. There were a couple of points in the game where she looked at me and said ‘Coach, I’ve got it,’ ” he said. “(And) the defense was just sensational. The defense has been great all year.”

It was a frustrating way for Nokomis’s best season to end, but McLellan struck an uplifting tone.

“The whole rest of the time, there were other things that could have happened,” McLellan said. “It was a great season. I can’t complain too much. And they’re one heck of a team.”

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