BREWER, Maine — Senior catcher Megan Watson belted a long two-run homer in the third inning to erase a 2-1 deficit and the Nokomis High School Warriors earned their first regional title with a 6-2 victory over Hermon in their Class B North final here Wednesday.
Junior righthander Mia Coots, the KVAC North Player of the Year for the second straight year, overcame a shaky third inning to pick up the complete game victory. She tossed a six-hitter.
Top seed Nokomis is now 19-0 and will face 18-1 York, the A South titlist, in Saturday’s 4 p.m. state final at Coffin Field in Brewer.
The youthful and second-seeded Hawks finished up at 15-4.
Trailing in the bottom of the third, Hope Brooks drew a lead off walk and, one out later, Watson belted a mammoth homer to left off an 0-2 pitch. It was her third homer of the season.
“I had been struggling really bad the last few games,” Watson said. “I knew I needed to get the people who were on base in. I just swung the bat.”
Watson got a high and inside pitch — her favorite to hit— and knew it was a home run when she hit it.
“That turned the game around big time,” said Nokomis coach J.D. McClellan, who got his first regional title in his third try over his 19-year career.
“Obviously, in any game, it’s about momentum,” Hermon coach Steph Biberstein said. “That killed the momentum we had after going up 2-1.”
Hermon had taken a 2-1 lead with three two-out hits in the top of the third.
Mackenzie Gallant started Hermon’s rally with a line drive single to right and she scored when Norra Idano rifled a double to right center.
Olivia Johnston delivered Idano with a sharp single to right. Addy Waning reached on an infield single for the fourth straight hit but Coots struck out the next hitter.
Nokomis added a pair of insurance runs in the fourth.
Sydney King walked and raced to third when a throwing error was made on Rachel Creswell’s bunt.
Camryn King’s grounder produced the first run and Raegan King’s two-out ground ball single to left plated the second run.
Watson’s two-out double in the sixth delivered an insurance run after Camryn King doubled to open the inning.
Coots settled down nicely after the third inning, allowing just a double to Gallant with two outs in the seventh inning.
“When a team starts getting hits off you and they all go to right field, you learn how you have to pitch and where you need to put your pitches,” said Coots, who discussed the adjustments she had to make with catcher Watson. “I started busting them inside more. And I really buckled down and got my stuff together.”
She finished with nine strikeouts and two walks while throwing 97 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Her team played very well behind her, committing just one error. And freshman right fielder Raegan Smith, Camryn’s younger sister, made a terrific play with a runner on first and two outs in the sixth as she reached way over her shoulder to rob Braelyn Wilcox of an extra-base hit.
“She was definitely getting her pitches in the zone more,” said Hermon senior shortstop Lyndsee Reed. “That helped her. We just didn’t execute when we needed to.
“Mia Coots is a great pitcher,” Biberstein said.
Watson homered and doubled for the winners. Camryn King doubled twice and Coots singled twice.
Gallant doubled and singled for Hermon.
McLellan said his Warriors beat a quality Hermon team that will be a contender for years to come.
“That team over there is loaded with young kids. They’re going to be the team to beat,” McLellan said.
The Hawks used three pitchers in Mikelle Verrill, Wilcox and Reed.