BREWER — The North Yarmouth Academy softball team wondered back in March if it would even have a season.

The Panthers got one. On Tuesday, they found the perfect way to end it.

Lily Rawnsley struck out six in a complete-game effort, Hayden Wienckowski drove in three runs and NYA took down Machias, 7-1, in the Class D championship game at Brewer High School’s Coffin Field, enduring an hour-plus rain delay to win its first state softball title.

Not a bad feat for a team that didn’t have enough players to field its own team from 2012-19, missed last year and had to do late recruiting to have enough for this season.

“It was stressful sometimes, especially at the beginning of the year. I didn’t know if we were going to have a team,” Rawnsley said. “I’m very glad we did.”

To get enough for a team, NYA Coach Ricky Doyon called on players from his girls’ soccer team. Nine of NYA’s 12 players played soccer and won a title in the fall.


“It’s crazy,” Doyon said. “I’ve got a bunch of athletes that just wanted it. It doesn’t always show at practice, but at game time, it’s there.”

One of those players called to fill out numbers was Wienckowski.

“I wasn’t originally even going to play,” Wienckowski said. “We did great. Words can’t even describe how we pulled this team together.”

NYA (18-1) went down 1-0 in the first inning, but stormed back in the third. Kailyn McIntire walked leading off and scored on an error on Rawnsley’s fly ball, and pinch-runner Toree St. Hilaire scored on a single to left from Wienckowski for a 2-1 lead.

Wienckowski scored on a single by Cami Casserly, and Casserly scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-1.

“It was such a relief for me (as the pitcher),” Rawnsley said. “I knew my teammates could do it.”


NYA got a fifth run across in the fourth when Jordan Nash and Wienckowski hit back-to-back triples, but that momentum was halted by a downpour that forced the teams off the field, turned the infield into slop and caused a delay for an hour and 40 minutes.

Despite the wait, NYA stayed fresh, and added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth.

“I told them ‘It’s like a new game, it’s zero-zero, we start over,’ ” Doyon said. “There was no tomorrow, I told them. We’re staying here. We’re not going anywhere.”

The hope is that NYA’s program won’t be, either, and that success will breed better turnout in future years.

“It’ll definitely help,” said Rawnsley, a junior. “We’ll see.”

Machias, playing its first state final, finished 13-4. Jaida Case had a triple and run, and Skyler Tinker had two singles and an RBI.

“Either way, we made school history,” Coach Kate Whitney said. “What better game ends your season than a state game? … It’s hard to be disappointed.”

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