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Spring sports season underway for southern teams

Sports

Spring sports season underway for southern teams

The 2010 spring sports season is now underway for virtually every local team. In just a few short days, there has already been a ton of drama. Here's a glimpse:

Baseball

Following last year's stirring playoff run, the South Portland baseball team entered 2010 full of optimism. The Red Riots opened with a 9-0 home victory over Gorham, behind a strong pitching effort from junior Andrew Richards and three hits from senior Mike Foley. Tuesday, South Portland was scheduled to visit Sanford, but that game was rained out and moved to Saturday. First, the Red Riots hosted Thornton Academy Thursday. On Tuesday of next week, South Portland welcomes Marshwood.

Scarborough is 1-1 on the season. The Red Storm opened with a 7-1 setback at Windham, but bounced back Tuesday with a 3-1 home victory over Bonny Eagle, thanks to sophomore Ben Wessel's solid pitching performance. Scarborough was at Noble Thursday and plays host to Sanford Tuesday. Next Thursday brings a showdown at highly-touted Westbrook.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is off to a 3-0 start. The Capers opened with a 4-2 win over Falmouth, then downed host Wells, 10-2, Saturday. Senior Will Pierce had four hits and three RBI. Cape Elizabeth blanked visiting Fryeburg 10-0 (in five innings) Wednesday, behind a two-hit, 10 strikeout performance from senior Conor Moloney. The Capers will go to Gray-New Gloucester Friday, then host rival and defending state champion Greely Monday.

Softball

Turning to softball, defending state champion Scarborough has picked up where it left off. The Red Storm began the season last Friday with an 11-0 romp at Westbrook. Sophomore Abby Rutt tripled and homered and senior Melissa DellaTorre and sophomores Mo Hannan and Dominique Burnham dominated on the hill. Monday, Scarborough defeated visiting Windham, 13-1 (in five innings). This time, senior Heather Carrier went deep and Hannan and freshman Erin Giles combined to hold the Eagles to two hits, while fanning 13. The Red Storm were at Noble Wednesday, host Marshwood Friday and go to Gorham Monday.

South Portland is hot on Scarborough's heels. The Red Riots won their opener, 4-1, at Sanford, then erupted Monday for a 16-1 (five inning) home victory over Kennebunk. In that one, junior Alexis Bogdanovich took a no-hitter into the fifth before settling for a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Offensively, the Red Riots broke out, crushing 15 hits.

"We had a couple good innings," said Bogdanovich, who along with senior Stephanie Thibeault and junior Katlin Norton, also led the offense with three hits. "It gave us motivation. Good fielding helps too and we had the bats. I think we're playing really well as a team. We have a good bond and we all get along pretty well."

"We played hard for four innings," added coach Ralph Aceto. "Kennebunk's not missing much from last year and we played them 1-0 last year. To play a team of that caliber the way we played today, I couldn't be happier. We played a very good game today. We've got the pitching and we can play defense with anybody. It's just a question of whether we have the bats. To be a great team, you have to finish. We're still learning to finish."

South Portland won 9-3 at Deering Wednesday to improve to 3-0. The Red Riots host Westbrook Friday and play at Windham Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth fell in its opener, 13-8, to Falmouth. The Capers fell to 0-2 Wednesday after a 6-4 home loss to recent nemesis Fryeburg, the two-time defending state champion. Friday, Cape Elizabeth is at Gray-New Gloucester and Monday, the Capers welcome Greely.

Boys' lacrosse

While the South Portland boys' lacrosse team has stolen the headlines in the early going (please see story), Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough will also be reckoned with as the season progresses.

The Capers, the two-time reigning Western B champions, opened with an 11-4 home loss to Falmouth, but bounced back Monday with a 10-7 triumph at Freeport. Cape Elizabeth has a pair of tests upcoming. First, the Capers host North Yarmouth Academy Friday. Monday, they look to avenge their loss in the state game when they travel to Yarmouth.

The Red Storm lost their opener, 8-7, in overtime, at South Portland, but turned the tables the next time out, rallying to beat Cheverus by the same score, in overtime, last Friday night. Senior Matt Mayo scored four times, including the tying goal with 32 seconds to go, and John Blaisdell delivered the winner in the extra session.

"It feels really good," said Mayo. "We knew we had to come out hard, get a win and get our season back on track. This was a good way to do that."

"It's good for us to realize we have to play every game," added Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. "It doesn't matter who the opponent is. The league has become much more competitive. The difference between this week and last week is that last week we put ourselves in a difficult position from beginning to end. This week, we put ourselves in a tough position for three quarters and were able to clean it up and come back. It's a big win for us."

Scarborough improved to 2-1 after an 18-4 romp at Noble Wednesday. The Red Storm got five goals from Mayo in that one. Scarborough hosts Kennebunk Friday and goes to Thornton Academy on Wednesday of next week.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth, which made it to the regional final a year ago, began its 2010 season with an impressive 17-2 win at Fryeburg Tuesday. Talley Perkins scored four times. Hannah Brewster, Anna Darling and Lauren Steidl all added three goals. Elin Sonneson stopped four shots. The Capers were at Falmouth Thursday, host Wells Friday and visit Yarmouth Monday.

Scarborough is 1-0 after Tuesday's 18-6 romp over visiting Sanford. Senior standouts Ellie Morin (six) and Lindsay Hagerman (five) combined for 11 goals. The Red Storm were at Portland Thursday and host Deering Monday.

South Portland doesn't open its season until Friday, when it plays at Gorham. Tuesday, the Red Riots visit McAuley.

Track

The outdoor track season began this week. Scarborough's boys defeated host Marshwood, along with Deering and Thornton Academy. South Portland hosted a meet and finished second by a point to Sanford, while defeating Massabesic and Windham.

On the girls' side, Scarborough (along with Deering and Marshwood) opened at Thornton Academy Wednesday. South Portland (with Massabesic and Sanford) competed at Windham Wednesday.

Cape Elizabeth hosts Fryeburg, Gray-New Gloucester and Old Orchard in its first meet Friday.

Tennis

The tennis season also commenced this week. Both Cape Elizabeth teams gave Western C powerhouse Waynflete a scare, but both lost by 3-2 scores. Scarborough's boys hosted Windham Monday in a rematch of last year's regional final. The Red Storm fell to the Eagles again, 4-1. Scarborough's girls were 4-1 winners over Windham. South Portland's boys defeated Deering, 3-2, in their first match. The Red Riots girls weren't as fortunate, falling, 4-1, to the Rams.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net