South recap: Playoff spots still up for grabs; Local teams in the hunt in several sports
The end of the regular season in baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis is rapidly approaching and there are several Forecaster Country teams jockeying for positioning.
Here's a look at where things stand as the month of May nears its end:
Baseball: Red Riots keep winning
Despite being decimated by injury prior to the season and boasting a relatively young roster, the South Portland baseball team continues to surprise.
Saturday, the Red Riots won 8-3 at Gorham, and Tuesday, they improved to 8-5 with a 9-0 home victory over Noble behind sophomore Andrew Richards' three-hitter. South Portland (seventh in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was at Portland Thursday (too late for print), visits Marshwood Saturday and closes its year Monday at home versus Scarborough.
The Red Storm are now 9-4 (and third in the Heals) after snapping a two-game skid Tuesday with an 8-5 home triumph over Biddeford. Senior standout Chris Bernard had a pair of hits, including a home run. Scarborough is home with Gorham Friday, goes to Sanford Saturday and closes its regular season at South Portland Monday.
In Western B, defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth beat visiting Fryeburg 6-2 Monday (behind senior Ryan Boyington's dominant start) to improve to 9-3. The Capers (fourth in the standings) are home with York Friday, play at Falmouth Saturday and Wells Monday, then have a home showdown with Greely in the regular season finale Wednesday.
Softball: Red Storm suffer first loss
On the girls' side of the diamond, while Cape Elizabeth was downing Fryeburg in a thriller, Scarborough wasn't as fortunate.
The Red Storm took a 12-0 mark and a 47-game regular season winning streak to Biddeford Tuesday. That all came crashing down when the Tigers won a surprisingly high-scoring game, 5-4, on an error in the bottom of the seventh inning. Scarborough is still first in the Western A Heals and after hosting Portland Thursday (too late for print), visits South Portland Friday and welcomes Cheverus Wednesday night in the regular season finale.
The Red Riots had their nine-game winning streak snapped last Friday, 4-1 at Gorham, but responded with their 11th victory in 13 games this spring Tuesday with a 5-3 home win over Massabesic. Senior Lauren Tuttle earned her sixth win on the mound. South Portland (fifth in the Heals) had Wednesday's game at Thornton Academy pushed to Thursday (too late for print) by rain, hosts Scarborough Friday and wraps up the regular year Monday in Biddeford.
Boys' lacrosse: South Portland in the hunt
Often overshadowed by their accomplished neighbors, South Portland's boys' lacrosse team is quietly putting together a solid campaign this spring.
The Red Riots have won two straight to take a 5-4 mark into Wednesday's home game with York (played too late for print). Last Friday, South Portland won 12-6 at Waynflete behind senior Ben Linscott's three goals and two assists. The Red Riots blew open a tight game with a 6-2 closing push.
"We're starting to play well," said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. "The kids are coming together. We have a chance to have a winning record. We're having fun."
The Red Riots (fifth in the Heals) go to Marshwood Saturday and close the regular season Monday at Bonny Eagle.
Defending Class A champion Scarborough has won three straight, the latest a 12-4 decision at Cheverus last Wednesday. Senior Danny Clark had three goals in that one. The Red Storm (second in the latest Heals and fifth in the coaches' poll) hosted Kennebunk Wednesday (too late for print), are at Cape Elizabeth Saturday and host Gorham Tuesday.
The Capers are looking to finish their season strong. Last Friday, they rolled over visiting Greely 14-6, as senior Jon O'Hearn and junior Tommy Foden both had four goals. Cape Elizabeth (second in the Western B Heals and third in the coaches' poll) was home with Cheverus Thursday (too late for print), hosts Scarborough Saturday and closes its regular year at Kennebunk Monday.
Girls' lacrosse: Scarborough primed for showdown
On the girls' side, Scarborough has won three straight to improve to 6-3 on the year. The Red Storm cruised to a 13-6 victory at Massabesic last Thursday behind six goals from junior Ellie Morin. Friday night, in a game that will have huge Heal Points-implications, Scarborough (sixth in both the latest Western A Heals and coaches' poll) hosts No. 2 Kennebunk, the team which edged them in overtime in last year's Western A Final. Monday, the Red Storm are home against Deering. Wednesday, Scarborough wraps up the regular season at Cape Elizabeth.
South Portland has dropped three of four and is 3-6 on the year following Tuesday's heartbreaking 8-7 loss at Sanford. Saturday, the Red Riots won 17-3 at Fryeburg. South Portland (ninth in Western A) hosts Wells Friday, McAuley Monday and Noble Wednesday to wrap up the regular season.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth ended a two-game skid Tuesday with a 16-10 win at Falmouth. Senior Maggie Darling scored seven times. The Capers (5-4, fourth in the Heals and seventh in the coaches' poll) go to Massabesic Friday, host Marshwood Monday and close the regular year Wednesday at home against Scarborough.
Tennis: Singles tourney resumes
On the hardcourts, the state singles tournament will continue Friday, Saturday and Monday at Bates College in Lewiston. Scarborough's Kasia Jania will be seeded second for the girls, behind Waynflete's Christine Ordway, the 2006 and 2007 champion, who was beaten last year by Scarborough's Camille Jania, Kasia's sister.
The Western Maine Conference held its doubles finals last weekend. Cape Elizabeth's Graham Nichols and Michael Takach reached the championship round where they lost to Waynflete's Nate Niles and Eric Ordway, 4-6, 4-6. Fellow Capers Niles Bond and John Tranfaglia won the consolation round.
In team play, Cape Elizabeth's boys fell 3-2 to Falmouth in their regular season finale Tuesday. The Capers wound up 9-3 and are awaiting their playoff seeding (they were fourth in the latest Western B Heal Points standings). Cape Elizabeth's girls' squad lost 5-0 to Falmouth Tuesday to finish 8-4. The Capers were also fourth in the latest Heals.
In Western A, Scarborough's girls edged host Windham 3-2 Tuesday to finish 11-1. The Red Storm were fifth in the latest Heals. The Red Storm boys lost two of their final three matches, including a 4-1 home setback to Windham Tuesday, to finish 10-2. Scarborough was second in the latest standings.
Both South Portland teams appear playoff-bound. The boys edged host Westbrook 3-2 Tuesday for their fourth straight win to wind up 7-5. The Red Riots were sixth in the latest Heals. South Portland's girls wound up 6-6 after a 5-0 loss at Westbrook Tuesday. They were eighth in the latest standings.
The team playoffs begin Tuesday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Thursday. Both rounds will feature the higher seeded team serving as host.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com