NEWPORT, Maine — For the second straight day, a Class B North unbeaten got knocked off.
Freshman Katie Fowler tossed a three-hitter and the Hermon High School Hawks scratched out an unearned run in the third inning to beat previously undefeated Nokomis High of Newport 1-0 in Newport on Tuesday afternoon.
On Monday, Old Town rallied to beat previously undefeated Ellsworth 4-3.
Hermon snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-3 while Nokomis is now 7-1.
Fowler struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone and allowed only two runners to reach as far as second base. She threw 73 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Fowler and Coots both work with Husson University pitching coach Rick Roberts on Sunday mornings.
Coots had tons of praise for Fowler.
“This was a wonderful game for her,” said Coots. “She works super hard. I
am really happy to see her doing so well as a freshman.”
Nokomis sophomore Mia Coots was equally impressive as she allowed only two hits and struck out 15. She walked five while throwing 108 pitches, 64 for strikes.
Both of Hermon’s hits came in the third inning when the Hawks scored their run.
Ava Dean, given a second life when her foul pop up was dropped, capitalized by beating out a slow roller in front of the plate to lead off the inning.
One out later, she moved to second when Fowler poked a single into right field.
Dean stole third and when the catcher’s throw glanced off the third baseman’s glove, Dean scored.
Pivotal play: With two outs and the tying run on second in the fourth inning, center field Dean came racing in on a short fly ball by Hope Brooks and made a great diving catch to preserve the 1-0 lead.
“It looked like it was closer. But then I had to sprint fast,” Dean said.
“That was just amazing,” Fowler said. “My spins were working well today but a lot of [credit] goes to my defense. If I didn’t have them behind me, I wouldn’t be where I am.”
“Ava is a sophomore who has tremendous range,” said Hermon coach Steph Biberstein. “She works hard and sells out every day in practice. It’s blood, sweat and tears with her. She dives and tries to keep everything in her glove.”
Takeaway: Coots and Fowler are two of the best young pitchers in Class B North. With them in the circle, both teams are capable of winning the regional championship. And both teams are solid defensively behind them as both turned in several games in the field.
It may come down to which team in Class B North comes through with timely hits.
What’s next: Nokomis travels to play Cony of Augusta on Thursday at 4 p.m. while Hermon goes to Caribou for a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon.