With the track and tennis postseasons underway, baseball, softball and lacrosse are gearing up to chase their share of glory.
Local teams have either wrapped up or are in the process of finishing the regular season and here’s a look at who’s moving on to the playoffs.
The Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough baseball teams are entering the playoffs on high notes, while South Portland also appeared postseason-bound at press time.
In Western B, the Capers capped a dazzling 15-1 regular season with recent victories over host York (16-5, in five innings), visiting Wells (11-1) and host Greely (5-2), in a contest played Tuesday night at the renovated Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.
Against the Wildcats, the Capers had two separate seven-run innings and received home runs from seniors Tanner Garrity and Kyle Piscopo and junior Jack Barber. Junior Rob MacDonald earned the win. In the win over the Warriors, senior Conor Moloney drove in two runs and dominated on the mound. Against the Rangers, MacDonald improved to 7-1 with five strong innings and also doubled. Cape Elizabeth projects to be the top seed in Western B. The Capers will host a quarterfinal round playoff game Thursday of next week.
In Western A, the Red Storm got off to a 3-2 start, but closed on a 9-2 push. After falling, 13-3 (in five innings), at three-time defending state champion Deering last Thursday, Scarborough won, 9-5, at Thornton Academy Friday, then rolled, 11-1 (in six innings) against visiting Windham Tuesday night to finish 12-4. Against the Eagles, senior Andrew Myers and sophomore Ben Wessel combined for a two-hitter and senior Luke Bogdanovich drove in four runs. The Red Storm were on top of the Heal Points standings as of Wednesday afternoon, but that was still in flux. At the very least, they’ll host a quarterfinal next Thursday and they could enjoy homefield advantage for the semifinals as well.
South Portland was 10-5 (and fifth) entering Wednesday’s finale at Gorham, which was postponed 24 hours by rain. The Red Riots won a pair of big games last week, 2-0, at home over preseason favorite Westbrook and 9-1 over visiting Massabesic. Against the Blue Blazes, senior Jon Medici and junior Andrew Richards combined to hold Westbrook’s potent attack to two hits and Medici and senior Ryan Curit had clutch RBI. In the win over the Mustangs, Richards earned the victory and Curit had a pair of hits. South Portland hoped a victory in its final game would be enough to give it a home quarterfinal.
Scarborough’s softball team, the defending Class A champion, bounced back from its only loss last week to finish the regular season in style. The Red Storm wound up 15-1 after downing visiting Sanford (5-1), host Kennebunk (9-1) and visiting Deering (11-0). Against the Redskins, senior Heather Carrier and sophomore Mo Hannan cracked home runs and freshman Erin Giles was dominant on the hill. In the win over Kennebunk, Giles homered and it was Hannan’s turn for a strong pitching performance, as she fanned 14 hitters. Against Deering, senior Melissa Dellatorre threw a one-hitter and struck out nine in five innings of work. Hannan and junior Alana Peoples hit home runs. Scarborough will be either first or second in the final Western A Heals and will host a quarterfinal Thursday of next week.
South Portland hoped to leapfrog the Red Storm with a win over McAuley in its finale Wednesday (too late for print). The Red Riots took a 14-1 record into that one after recent wins over visiting Cheverus (10-6) and host Bonny Eagle (11-0). Against the Stags, South Portland dedicated a new scoreboard in memory of longtime program supporter Jerry Kill, father of former standout, Kristin. The Red Riots got a single, double, run scored and an RBI from junior Katlin Norton and junior Danielle DiBiase drove in two. in the win over the Scots, junior Amanda Linscott doubled twice and drove in a pair, Norton homered and DiBiase had three RBI. South Portland will host a quarterfinal round game next Thursday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth, which started the year 0-4, went into Wednesday’s finale at Greely still clinging to playoff hopes. The Capers were 11th in the Heals and had to move up ninth to qualify. Last week, Cape Elizabeth routed host Old Orchard Beach, 18-2, and beat visiting Wells, 5-1. Against the Warriors, junior Ally Boyington threw a three-hitter.
While Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team was finishing up its season with an exciting loss at Portland (please see story), no one is closing faster than the storied Capers of Cape Elizabeth.
Last Friday night, at home, the Capers found themselves down, 6-1, at halftime, to two-time defending Class B champion and recent nemesis Yarmouth, but Cape Elizabeth turned it up a gear and absolutely dominated the second half in stunning fashion, rolling to a 10-7 victory. Junior Timmy Takach had three goals, helped the Capers win 15 of 21 faceoffs and grabbed eight ground balls, senior Tommy Foden scored three times and senior Ben Brewster was a beast all over the field, imposing his will defensively, while grabbing nine ground balls.
“This was an important game for us emotionally,” said Capers coach Ben Raymond. “It showed we do have the ability to play with the best teams and beat them.”
Cape Elizabeth improved to 8-3 and is locked into the second spot in the Western B Heals. The Capers (third in the latest coaches’ poll) closed the regular season at Waynflete Wednesday.They’ll return to action June 12 at home (likely versus Greely) in a Western B semifinal round contest.
In Western A, South Portland had a huge showdown in its last game, at Kennebunk Wednesday night. The winner finished first in the region and the loser dropped to second. The Red Riots improved to a program-best 10-1 last week with a 9-8 win at Bonny Eagle (senior Adam Burpee had three goals). South Portland (fifth in the coaches’ poll) will host a semifinal round game June 12.
Scarborough’s girls’ lacrosse program completed its first-ever undefeated regular season with a 12-9 win at recent nemesis Kennebunk. The Red Storm got three goals each from senior Ellie Morin and sophomore Kelsey Howard, rode a stellar effort on defense and won a majority of ground balls, thanks in large part to senior sparkplug Brittany Ross. as it twice held host Kennebunk scoreless for spans of 15-plus minutes to help earn a measure of revenge for losses to the Rams in the past two postseasons.
“Last year was awful and this is payback,” Morin said. “Kennebunk’s always been a rival. To come and win this game was huge. We wanted to be undefeated. We really want a state championship. In years before, some people wanted it, but this team, this year, everyone wants it. It’s our time.”
Scarborough finished first in Western A and will host a semifinal round game June 12 (likely against Kennebunk).
South Portland clung to the seventh and final playoff spot entering its finale Wednesday at home against Bonny Eagle. Last Friday, the Red Riots fell, 9-8, at Portland, despite two goals each from senior Kate Lagios and junior Nikki LaPlante. If South Portland qualifies for the second year in a row, it will play on the road in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth locked up the No. 3 seed and will visit second-ranked Falmouth in the semis June 12. The Capers closed the regular season at 8-4 with an 11-10 victory at Massabesic Saturday. Junior Karyn Barrett had three goals and four assists and fabulous freshmen Talley Perkins and Lauren Steidl both scored three times.
Five of six local tennis teams qualified for the playoffs.
The Cape Elizabeth boys went 9-3 this spring and earned the No. 5 seed in Western B, necessitating a trip to No. 4 Mountain Valley (11-1) for the quarterfinals Thursday. The teams didn’t play this year. The last postseason meeting came in the 2004 quarterfinals (a 5-0 Capers win). If victorious, Cape Elizabeth would likely go to top-ranked Gardiner (12-0) in the semifinals Saturday.
In Western A, Scarborough finished second to Windham with an 11-1 mark. The Red Storm hosted No. 7 Thornton Academy (7-5) in the quarterfinals. On April 30, Scarborough beat the Golden Trojans, 4-1, in Saco. Last year, the Red Storm ousted Thornton Academy, 5-0, in the quarterfinal round. If victorious, Scarborough would host either No. 3 Cheverus (11-1) or No. 6 Bonny Eagle (8-4) in Saturday’s semifinal round. The Red Storm beat the Scots, 4-1, at home on May 3. They didn’t face the Stags. Two years ago, Cheverus eliminated Scarborough, 3-2, in the regional final. The Red Storm have no playoff history with Bonny Eagle.
South Portland failed to qualify with a 3-9 mark, which left the Red Riots 11th in the region.
On the girls’ side, Scarborough finished 9-3 and earned the fourth seed in Western A, setting up a quarterfinal round showdown with No. 5 Cheverus (8-4). The Red Storm beat the Stags, 3-2, in Portland, back on May 5. The teams had no prior playoff history. If Scarborough was able to advance, it would likely visit top-ranked, defending regional champ Portland (12-0) in Saturday’s semifinals. The Bulldogs won the regular season meeting, 4-1, in Scarborough, May 20. The last playoff meeting between the schools came in 2004 preliminary round (a 5-0 Portland win).
South Portland was the eighth and final team to qualify with a 5-7 record, sending the Red Riots to Portland (12-0) for the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs won the regular season meeting, 5-0, May 21. The last playoff showdown came a year ago in the quarterfinals (a 5-0 Portland victory).
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth wound up fifth with a 7-5 mark and opened at No. 4 Yarmouth (9-3) in the quarterfinals. On May 17, the Capers lost, 4-1, in Yarmouth. The teams have split eight prior playoff meetings. The most recent came last year in the quarterfinals (a 3-2 Cape Elizabeth win).
Looking ahead, the Western A Final for boys and girls is Wednesday, June 9 at Bates College in Lewiston. Start time is 9:15 a.m. The Western B Finals are the same day and location beginning at 4:15 p.m.
The Class A state championship matches will be held Saturday, June 12 at Colby College in Waterville. Start time is 10 a.m. The Class B championships will also be contested at Colby at 4 p.m.
At the singles championships last weekend, Cape Elizabeth’s Matt Gilman advanced to the quarterfinals on the boys’ side before losing, 0-6, 4-6 to eventual champion Brandon Thompson of Waynflete.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
South Portland junior Nikki LaPlante keeps pace with Portland junior Mckenzie Parker during the teams’ contest last week in Portland. The Red Riots fell a goal short, 9-8, but remained in the playoff picture as the week began.
Cape Elizabeth sophomore Tim Lavallee races past Yarmouth senior Steven Petrovek Friday night. The Capers rallied from a 6-1 halftime deficit to stun the two-time defending Class B state champion Clippers, 10-7.