STANDISH — The last time York junior McKayla Kortes faced Lake Region in softball, she tossed a no-hitter.

On Wednesday afternoon, she wasn’t quite as dominant with her arm. Instead, she delivered even more damage with her bat.

Kortes launched the first pitch she saw in the second inning over the left-field fence for a grand slam, sending the top-seeded Wildcats on their way to an 8-1 victory over No. 3 Lake Region in the Class B South softball final at St. Joseph’s College.

York (18-1) advances to Saturday’s state title game against Nokomis (20-0), a 6-2 winner over Hermon. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Brewer. York last won a state title in 1989, having finished second three times since then, most recently in 2019.

“We lost in the regionals last year (to Gardiner),” Kortes said. “We definitely had vengeance to get back at it. We had so much energy. We all decided to do it for each other.”

Kortes retired the first seven batters she faced, until a misplayed bunt resulted in Lake Region’s first baserunner. Not until the sixth inning did the Lakers (14-5) advance a runner to second base.


Kortes struck out six, yielded two hits and walked only one. Meanwhile, the Wildcats jumped to an early 3-0 lead. Freshman Maddie Fitzgerald led off the home first by lining a single to center and Maddy Raymond followed with an opposite-field triple. Kortes made it 2-0 with an infield grounder and scored on a two-out single by Emily Estes.

Ella Hickey sparked York’s second-inning rally with a leadoff single. Fitzgerald collected the second of her three hits and Raymond drew a one-out walk to load the bases for Kortes, who made it 7-0 with one powerful swing, followed by a delirious dance around the bases.

“Usually my mentality is to go after the first pitch,” said Kortes, who has committed to play college softball at Division I Merrimack. “If I see a changeup, I’m probably not going to go for it, but if it’s a fastball grooving down the middle, that’s the one I want.”

Lake Region senior Melissa Mayo fanned 11, but the Wildcats rapped out 13 hits, including 10 in the first three innings, when all of York’s scoring took place.

“We weren’t ready to swing the bat,” said Lake Region Coach Shawn Rock, whose team was making its first regional final appearance in 20 years. “We seemed apprehensive.”

Falling behind so quickly didn’t help. Margo Tremblay broke up the no-hit bid with sharp single to left in the fourth, and Kylie Myers drove in Lake Region’s only run with a one-out single in the sixth.

But after that early grand slam, “it was lights out,” said York Coach Kevin Giannino, whose Wildcats have yet to allow more than four runs in a game.

“I don’t see too many high school girls who can hit like that. The ball just screams off her bat.”

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