April triumph brings May optimism

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Greely softball, Scarborough-NYA and South Portland-Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse and Scarborough-Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, including detailed box scores and additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

The very short spring sports season is now underway for everybody. Some teams have played several games, others just one or two, but it’s becoming clear that preseason projections of excellence were right on the mark.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred in the past week and what’s to come.

Baseball-Red Storm rolling

Scarborough’s baseball team has impressed in the early going. Recent decisive wins over visiting Sanford (10-0, in five innings) and at Biddeford (11-0) lifted the Red Storm to 4-0 on the season. Against the Redskins, Brendan Hall had four hits, scored twice and drove in two runs. In the win over the Tigers, ace Ben Wessel, threw a two-hitter and hit a home run. Scarborough was scheduled to host Marshwood in an early season showdown Tuesday night, but that game was postponed 24 hours by rain. After hosting Kennebunk Thursday, the Red Storm is home with Bonny Eagle Monday and has a playoff rematch at South Portland Thursday.

The Red Riots lost to visiting Westbrook, 8-1, last Wednesday, but got in the win column the following day, 6-1, at Kennebunk, behind multiple hits from Brendan Horton, Jordan Muller and Shawn Shannon. Matt DiBiase added a two-run single. Zac Marles earned the victory after striking out eight. Saturday, South Portland fell to 1-3 with a 3-1 home loss to Massabesic. DiBiase took the loss despite a complete game three-hit effort. Shannon drove in the Red Riots’ lone run. Tuesday’s home game with Thornton Academy was postponed to Wednesday, then to Friday by rain. South Portland was at Sanford Thursday and hosts Windham Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth fell at Falmouth last Wednesday, 10-5, bounced back to defeat visiting Gray-New Gloucester, 7-1, Friday, then lost at home to Freeport (7-3) and at Greely (8-0) to fall to 2-3 on the year. Charlie Laprade and Max Gore both had three hits in the loss to the Yachtsmen. In the win, Will LeBlond dominated, striking out 10 batters, while adding four hits. Seth Dobieski and Chad Peterson both had multiple hits. The Capers were home with York Thursday, welcome Waynflete Friday, go to Wells Monday and host Yarmouth Wednesday.

Softball-Red Riots hit stride

South Portland’s softball team had the misfortune of battling defending state champion Scarborough and top contender Thornton Academy back-to-back last week. After falling in a 14-6 slugfest at the Red Storm, the Red Riots lost at home to the Golden Trojans, 2-0. South Portland has turned things around since, however, with victories over host Noble (7-0) and visiting Sanford (11-0) to improve to 3-2 on the year. Against the Knights, Erin Bogdanovich took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, while offensively, Danica Gleason rapped three hits and drove in a run, Sam DiBiase drove in three with a home run and a double and Bogdanovich and Lindsay Cannon also had multiple hits. In the win over the Redskins, Bogdanovich threw a four-hitter with eight strikeouts. Gleason (three hits) and Olivia Indorf (two hits) paced the offense, driving in three runs apiece. Bogdanovich, DiBiase and Laurine German also had two hits. The Red Riots were at Massabesic Wednesday, host Deering Friday, go to McAuley Monday and welcome Kennebunk Wednesday.

Scarborough continues to decimate the opposition. The Red Storm followed up its win over South Portland with decisive victories at Gorham (12-0, in six innings) and at home versus Bonny Eagle (12-0, in five innings). Erin Giles threw a one-hitter and fanned 10 versus the Rams. Dominique Burnham and Mo Hannan both had three hits. Marissa O’Toole tripled and drove in three runs. Alyssa Williamson stole the show versus the Scots, throwing a one-hitter while driving in four runs with a pair of doubles. Scarborough’s showdown at Thornton Academy scheduled for Tuesday, then Wednesday before being postponed both days due to rain was finally played Thursday (please see theforecaster.net for game story). The Red Storm host Noble Friday, visits Sanford Monday and welcomes Massabesic Wednesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth has gone win-loss-win-loss to date. After a 4-0 win at Falmouth in the opener, the Capers fell at home to Gray-New Gloucester, 4-2. Saturday, Cape Elizabeth dominated visiting Freeport, 10-0, but Monday fell to 2-2 with an 8-5 loss at Greely. Anna Goldstein threw a two-hitter and Ashley Tinsman had a two-run triple in the opener. Tinsman homered in to the loss to the Patriots. Against the Falcons, Tinsman and Mary Perkins both went deep. At the Rangers, Cape Elizabeth fell behind 3-0 early, but erupted for five runs in the fourth. It couldn’t hold on, however, as Greely put up a run in the fourth and four in the fifth to prevail.

“We bobbled the ball around a little bit,” Capers coach Joe Henrikson said. “The pitcher didn’t keep the ball down. When she did, she was successful. When she left it up, you saw what happened. (Our season) will be determined by our pitching. I think we’ll be OK defensively. I don’t feel too bad about it. I think we’ll be in the mix.”

Cape Elizabeth hosted York Thursday, welcomes Traip Friday, goes to Wells Monday and hosts Yarmouth Wednesday.

Boys’ lacrosse-Red Storm win benefit game

Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team did more than just play a lacrosse game Saturday at North Yarmouth Academy, the Red Storm also took part in a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project. Scarborough wore camouflage pants, while the Panthers were clad in camouflage shirts. a small cannon was on hand and before the game, Chris Tyll, owner of Pat’s Pizza and a former Navy SEAL, addressed the players and the crowd.

“Statistics have shown that over the last 10 years, less than one percent of our country has served (in the military) since 9/11,” said Tyll. “That one percent has borne over 100 percent of the sacrifices so that we can rest easy at night, enjoy a great spring day and watch some great lacrosse.

“Wounded Warriors is a great program that I hold dear to my heart. If you look at the (Wounded Warrior Project) logo, the soldier being carried is wounded and obviously needs help. Now, let’s look at the soldier on the bottom (carrying the other soldier). This soldier has probably been deployed two to five times in a combat zone. He carries 35 pounds of armor, 50 pounds of ammunition and supplies and selflessly removes his comrade from the battlefield. They probably both suffer from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and PTS (Post Traumatic Stress). The guy on the top needs our help, but the guy on the bottom needs our help as well. The PTS he has is not a disorder, it’s a wound that we have a responsibility as a nation to help heal. Get involved and help turn this from a bumper sticker to a movement.”

Tyll encouraged the players to embrace that warrior spirit.

“Hit hard, get back up, only to do it again,” he said. “If you play inside the confines of the rules of this game, you’ll learn lessons from that type of effort.

“It’s my hope that this generation does not have to face the horrors of war. By continuing to embrace such a great sport and work hard in your studies, I feel confident we’ll have another breed of warriors if we have to call upon you.”

The Red Storm, which was coming off a 10-1 win at South Portland (behind four goals from John Wheeler), rallied to edge the Panthers, 4-3, as Cam Loiselle and Wheeler both scored twice (Wheeler had the winner with 3:04 to play). 

“For us, we’ve had this game on our calendar for awhile, not only for the benefit, but because this is the first real big game we’ve had on our schedule for quite awhile,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep, who was wearing a desert camouflage sunhat, in honor of his friend, who was injured in Iraq. “It was tough for our guys to respond to someone playing tough defense, or guys carrying the ball and holding it on offense. We hadn’t seen that in a couple weeks and it took us until late in the second quarter before we started to get comfortable, stopped throwing the ball away and stopped missing assignments. It was great for our guys to go up against someone who played up to their level.”

The Red Storm hosted Deering Wednesday (please see theforecaster.net for game story), goes to Portland Friday and welcomes Gorham Wednesday.

South Portland dropped to 1-4 after losses last week at home to Scarborough (10-1) and at Yarmouth (12-2). Andrew Hodge and Mike Salvatore scored against the Clippers and T-Moe Hellier stopped 12 shots, but the Red Riots went the final 25 minutes, 2 seconds without scoring.

“We had a lot of possession time, but we couldn’t finish,” lamented South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. “We struggled in the first quarter and we struggled from the end of the third into the fourth. That’s the problem with this young team. If we can put together a full 48 minutes, we can run with a Yarmouth or a Scarborough. Until we can do that, it’s not going to happen for us.”

South Portland was home against Bonny Eagle Wednesday, visits Windham Friday and goes to Thornton Academy Wednesday.

Cape Elizabeth improved to 3-0 last Wednesday with an easy 14-2 home win over NYA. Alex Bornick scored four times. Thomas Bottomley added three goals. The Capers were back in action Wednesday at Waynflete. After visiting Yarmouth Saturday, Cape Elizabeth hosts Greely Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse-Capers start fast

While much of the attention in Western Class B girls’ lacrosse is being focused on Falmouth and Waynflete (who meet in a showdown Friday night), Cape Elizabeth is having no trouble keeping pace. The Capers improved to 3-0 Saturday with a 16-8 home win over Gorham, as Lauren Steidl scored six times. Abby McInerney and Hannah Newhall both finished with three goals. Cape Elizabeth was at York in a makeup game Wednesday, welcomes defending Class B champion Yarmouth Friday and visits Greely Tuesday.

In Western A, Scarborough continues to sizzle as well. Recent wins over visiting Bonny Eagle (16-3), at Yarmouth (12-5) and at South Portland (11-4) lifted the Red Storm to 4-0 on the season and extended its two-year win streak to 16 games. Mary Scott scored four times against the Scots. In the win at the Clippers, which avenged Scarborough’s only setback a year ago, Scott had four goals, Kelsey Howard and Maggie Smith three apiece.

“We’re playing really, really well together,” Scott said. “We expected that though. The key is to go into every game like it’s our first game. Not that we won two championships, but play like we don’t know the other team. (Yarmouth) lost a lot of seniors and we kept all of ours. We came in knowing they’d be a good team, but we’re pumped to beat them.”

“I was excited for the rematch today,” Scarborough coach Marcia Wood said. “When you hear the name Yarmouth, you always get excited to come here and play.”

In the win over the Red Riots, Laura Przybylowicz led the way with four goals.  The Red Storm hosts Massabesic Monday and goes to Cheverus Thursday. Big tests still await.

“We still have Cape, TA, Marshwood, Massabesic and Kennebunk,” said Wood. “There will be some games that will give us pressure and make us work harder with passing and accuracy.”

South Portland won its opener, 14-2, at Sanford, as Olivia Edwards had five goals, Anh Nguyen four and Jenna Wing three. Prior to losing to Scarborough, the Red Riots dropped a tough 7-5 decision at Thornton Academy (Nguyen did score twice). South Portland hosted Noble Thursday, welcomes Westbrook Monday and goes to Biddeford Thursday.

Track

The outdoor track season is now underway in earnest.

Scarborough’s boys went to Noble (along with Kennebunk and Portland) and finished first in their first meet. Kevin Manning won three individual events, taking the javelin (162 feet, 3 inches), discus (126-5) and pole vault (11-6). The Scarborough girls easily defeated Noble, Kennebunk, McAuley and host Portland their first time out. Courtney Alofs won both the discus (93-2) and shot put (27-9.5). Nicole Kirk took first place in both the 100 (12.2 seconds) and 200 (25.8).

South Portland’s boys were second to host Gorham, in a meet which also included Biddeford and Massabesic. Nicholas Genesio won the 100 (11.98). The Red Riots girls were third in their first meet, but won Monday’s city meet at Cheverus (which also included Deering, McAuley and Portland). Lauren Magnuson won the 100 (13.6), 200 (28.4) and long jump (14-7).

Cape Elizabeth hosted Lake Region, NYA and York in its first meet Friday. The boys placed third and girls were fourth. Billy Brooks took the boys’ 200 (23.4). Andrew Lavallee won the shout put (41-2.5) and Deven Roberts won the high jump (5-8).

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis team suffered its first loss last week, 3-2, to visiting Class B state champion Falmouth. The Capers improved to 2-1 Monday with a 5-0 win at Yarmouth. Scarborough’s boys, the reigning Western A champions, are 3-1 following a 5-0 victory at Sanford Friday. South Portland took an 0-2 record into Wednesday’s home match versus Sanford.

On the girls’ side, South Portland is 2-2 after a 4-1 loss to McAuley. Defending Western A champion Scarborough improved to 3-1 Monday after a 5-0 win over Sanford. The Red Storm has a big test Monday when it hosts Portland. In Western B, Cape Elizabeth evened its record at 2-2 Monday with a 4-1 win over Freeport. The Capers were at defending Class C champion Waynflete Wednesday.

Freelance writer Matt Boutwell contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements


Cape Elizabeth’s Emmy Ham slides into home during Monday’s 8-5 loss at Greely.

Scarborough goalie David Pearson and his Red Storm teammates wore camouflage shorts, while North Yarmouth Academy was clad in camouflage tops for the teams’ Wounded Warrior Benefit game Saturday. Scarborough won, 4-3.

Cape Elizabeth’s Deven Roberts reaches 5 feet, 8 inches to win the high jump at last week’s meet.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.