Let the fun begin; Spring playoffs set to begin for city teams
The spring sports regular season is nearing its conclusion. Track will begin its postseason next weekend with tennis soon to follow suit. By this time next week, baseball (please see story), softball and lacrosse will also be looking ahead to the playoffs.
Here's a glimpse at where city teams stand as we near the end of May:
Cheverus and McAuley's softball teams are playoff-bound. Deering and Portland, barring some dramatic victories, will be on the outside looking in.
The Stags had their seven-game win streak come to an end last Monday at Thornton Academy, 9-8. Senior Theresa Hendrix had four hits, including two doubles and a triple, but was stranded at third in the top of the seventh.
Friday, Cheverus improved to 9-3 with its most impressive win of the season to date, 9-3, at Biddeford. In that one, senior Audrey Grinnell doubled, homered and drove in three, while Hendrix earned the victory on the mound and added three hits.
The Stags entered the week in the No. 5 spot in the Western Class A Heal Points standings. After hosting Portland Monday, Cheverus welcomed undefeated, defending state champion Scarborough Tuesday. Wednesday, the Stags are at powerhouse South Portland. They close the regular season at home versus Bonny Eagle June 1.
The Lions had their seven-game string broken Friday at Thornton Academy, 11-10, despite an 11-hit attack, including three from junior Sara Mercier. McAuley had downed host Gorham (8-3) and visiting Massabesic (3-1) in prior action.
Against the Rams, Mercier had three hits, freshman Gabby Townsend earned the win and a five-run third inning broke it open. In the win over the Mustangs, junior Jen Field earned the victory with a strong performance, while junior Kayla Daigle drove in the go-ahead run.
McAuley (10-2 and fourth in Western A) hosted Scarborough Monday, plays at Biddeford Wednesday and hosts Portland Friday. The Lions close the regular year at South Portland Tuesday of next week.
Deering beat Windham, 9-8, last Monday (behind a home run from Annalisa Ferrante, then fell to 4-8 after losses to Noble (4-3) and Marshwood (8-6). Netta Brown's strong hitting wasn't enough to lead the Rams to victory in either game.
Deering (12th in Western A) was home with Gorham Monday, plays at Massabesic Wednesday and hosts Thornton Academy Friday before closing June 1 at Scarborough.
Portland entered the week 1-11 and 15th in the Heals after losses to host Biddeford (4-3), visiting South Portland (10-5) and visiting Scarborough (27-0, in five innings). Senior Maggie Kilbride hit a home run in the loss to the Red Riots.
The Bulldogs were at Cheverus Monday and hosted Bonny Eagle Tuesday. After playing at McAuley Friday, Portland ends the season at home versus Sanford June 1.
While Portland's defending Class A state champion boys' lacrosse team was taking it to Deering Saturday (please see story), Cheverus and Waynflete continue to jockey for optimal postseason positioning.
The Stags suffered a painful blow Saturday when they lost, 8-6, at Windham, to fall to 5-5. Cheverus is now seventh in the Eastern A Heals and only the top six teams qualify for the playoffs. The Stags were at Noble Monday and play host to Gorham on June 2.
In Western B, Waynflete is also battling for the fourth and final spot with York. The Flyers were fifth entering the week after last week's 19-11 home romp over Wells.
Waynflete demonstrated its balanced offense as freshman Zander Majercik scored five times, senior Josiah Baker-Connick had four goals and seniors Miles Beaven and Jay Witte each added three.
The Flyers have remaining opportunities to pick up points. After going to North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday, Waynflete visits Fryeburg Friday, then closes at home versus Cape Elizabeth June 1.
On the girls' side, the big story continues to be the strong play of two-time defending Class B state champion Waynflete.
Last week, the Flyers went 3-0 with varying degrees of ease to extend their latest win streak to eight games and improve to 9-1, good for first place in the Western B Heals.
Waynflete rolled, 14-4, at Greely last Tuesday behind four goals from senior Amy Allen, three goals and five ground balls from junior Scout Haffenreffer and six saves from freshman goalie Katherine Torrey.
The next day, the Flyers held off longtime rival and host Kennebunk, 11-6, as senior Morgan Woodhouse had five goals and two assists, Allen added three goals (with one assist) and freshman Sadie Cole had two goals and two helpers. Freshman Martha Veroneau had six ground balls and Torrey made four saves.
Saturday, Waynflete got a much tougher test than expected from visiting York, rallying from an early 4-1 deficit and holding on for a 10-9 triumph, as Woodhouse scored three times and Allen, Haffenreffer and Veroneau each had two goals. Torrey made three saves, including a clutch one in the waning moments.
Waynflete finished up the regular season with two huge tests, at Yarmouth Monday and at home versus North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday, as the Flyers seek to avenge their lone loss (please see Web site for game stories).
In Eastern A, Cheverus has quietly put together a superb campaign. The Stags rallied past host Windham, 11-8, last Tuesday, then edged nemesis Kennebunk, 12-10, Friday to improve to 7-3.
Against the Eagles, senior Grace Fitzpatrick scored five times. In the first ever win over the Rams, senior Bri Amato scored five times, classmate Grace Franson added three goals and senior Sage Witham had the go-ahead goal.
Cheverus was a solid second behind two-time defending Class A champion Brunswick in the latest Heals. The Stags hosted Thornton Academy Tuesday and finish up at Gorham Friday.
Portland hopes to make the playoffs. The Bulldogs enter the week 6-4 (fourth in Eastern A) after a 6-5 (overtime) victory at Deering and an 11-2 home loss to Westbrook. Senior Nancy McAdam had a pair of goals against the Rams.
Portland is home with South Portland Friday and closes up at Marshwood on June 1.
Deering needs some help to reach the postseason. After losing in OT to Portland (despite two goals from junior Zahra Abu and 18 saves from senior Julie Pallozzi), the Rams fell, 17-11, at Bonny Eagle. In that one, senior Monique Guimond had four goals. Deering (3-6-1) was eighth in the Eastern A Heals entering the week. The Rams were at South Portland Tuesday and close at Massabesic June 1.
In Western A, McAuley entered the week 3-7 and 11th in the Heals. Last week, the Lions downed visiting Biddeford (12-8), then lost at home to South Portland (16-10) and at Sanford (15-10). In the victory, junior Tori Tenenbaum had three goals. Against the Red Riots, Tenenbaum and sophomore Mary Leasure each had three tallies. Tenenbaum had four against the Redskins. McAuley was home with Westbrook Tuesday and goes to Bonny Eagle for the finale Friday.
The outdoor track regular season came to an end Friday when Cheverus hosted a Cumberland County meet, which included Deering, McAuley and Portland, along with Gorham, Scarborough, South Portland, Westbrook and Windham.
The Stags came in first in the boys' meet, as Deering finished seventh and Portland placed eighth. Cheverus took the 4x400 (3 minutes, 29.5 seconds) and 4x800 (8:15.16) relays. Individually, John White took the shot put (54 feet, 2.5 inches). Beau Michaud was first in the discus (155-6). Jack Terwilliger had no peer in the mile (4:26.58) or the two-mile (10:00.59). Andrew Snyder won the 800 (2:02.14).
Scarborough won the girls' competition, but Cheverus was runner-up. Deering finished fourth, Portland eighth and McAuley ninth. Local winners included Cheverus' 4x800 relay team (9:58.10), Hannah Lyons in the 100 (13.6 seconds), Fiona Hendry in the mile (5:13.13), Emily Durgin in the 800 (2:19.91) and the two-mile (10:58.97), Caroline Summa in the high jump (5-2) and Deering's Tricia Stewart in the long jump (16-5).
The SMAA championships are Saturday at 10 a.m., at Thornton Academy. The Class A state meet is Saturday, June 5, at Cony High School in Augusta.
Waynflete (along with Lake Region and Sacopee) competed in its final regular season meet at Fryeburg Friday. Both teams came in fourth. Freshman Amelia Mitchell won the girls' 800 in 2:37.09. The Flyers will compete in the Western Maine Conference championship meet Saturday at Yarmouth High School (9 a.m.). Waynflete will take part in the Class C state meet June 5 at Foxcroft Academy.
The Southern Maine Activities Association crowned its doubles tennis champion Saturday and for the second year in a row a Portland Bulldogs tandem took top honors. Senior Lauren MacDougal and freshman Sophie Hulbert downed McAuley senior Danielle LaCasse and senior Julie Haverty, 7-5, 6-3, in the championship match.
The Bulldogs hoped to close out another perfect regular season when they took an 11-0 mark and the top spot in the Western A Heals into a showdown with McAuley Tuesday. The Lions suffered their first loss last week, 3-2, at Gorham, and were third behind Portland and Gorham in the standings.
Cheverus and Deering also appear playoff-bound. The Stags were 6-4 and sixth entering the week. The Rams were also 6-4 when the week began and held the eighth and final postseason slot. Deering was at Kennebunk Monday and visited Biddeford Tuesday.
In Western C, Waynflete took a 9-2 mark and the third spot in the Heals (behind defending champ North Yarmouth Academy and Winthrop) into Tuesday's finale at Freeport.
On the boys' side, Cheverus suffered its first loss, 4-1, at Windham, Thursday, but looked to finish 11-1 when it hosted South Portland Tuesday. The Stags were second to the Eagles in the latest Western A Heals.
Deering and Portland will likely fall short of the postseason. The Rams, who last missed out in 1993, took a 3-8 mark and the No. 10 spot into Tuesday's finale at home versus Biddeford. The Bulldogs were 2-7 and were in the 11th slot. Portland closed up at home against Scarborough Monday and Sanford Tuesday.
In Western C, Waynflete capped another perfect regular season with a 5-0 win at Western B contender Cape Elizabeth Friday, finishing 12-0. The Flyers (winners of 42 straight matches) look for a third straight state championship when the team playoffs commence June 3.
Speaking of Waynflete, its top doubles tandem of Eric Ordway and Eric Cummings defeated Cape Elizabeth's Bailey Dittrich and John Tranfaglia, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8, in a dramatic come-from-behind match Saturday to win the Western Maine Conference doubles championship.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org