Hello June, let the championship fun begin-Southern edition

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Scarborough’s Bella Dickinson prepare to lace a double during the Red Storm’s 8-3 home win over Noble Saturday. Scarborough finished the regular season 16-0 and will again be the top seed for the Class A South playoffs.

Cape Elizabeth senior Mariah Deschino (4) is mobbed by her teammates after scoring in last week’s 15-9 win at Waynflete. The Capers beat the Flyers in the regular season for the first time since 2002.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Scarborough-Noble softball and Cape Elizabeth-Waynflete and Cape Elizabeth-Kennebunk girls’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, see theforecaster.net)

The first hardware of spring, the tennis singles championships, has been bestowed. The team tennis playoffs are underway and the baseball, softball and lacrosse regular seasons will come to a close at the end of the week, meaning that playoffs galore will be the theme next week.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s transpired and what’s still on the agenda:

Tennis

The Maine Principals’ Association singles tennis tournament continued last weekend and all local players were eliminated by the quarterfinals.

Cape Elizabeth’s Liv Clifford, seeded seventh in the girls’ field, downed Scarborough’s Ashley Levesque (who had beaten Maranacook’s Madelyn Dwyer in the first round, 6-3, 6-2) by a 6-1, 6-1, score to reach the Round of 16, where she ousted Morse’s Arielle Leeman, 6-1, 6-3. In the quarterfinals, Clifford was eliminated by No. 2 Rosemary Campanella of Kennebunk/Wells, 3-6, 2-6.

Cape Elizabeth’s Katie Gilman lost, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, to Gorham’s Jocelyn Bolt in the first round.

Yarmouth’s Lana Mavor went on to win the crown.

On the boys’ side, Cape Elizabeth’s Ted Hall defeated Brunswick’s Dasol Kim, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round, then lost to No. 12 Paul Branch of John Bapst, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 3-6. Cape Elizabeth’s Matthew Galvin lost in the first round to Darren Hanscom of John Bapst, 4-6, 2-6.

Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu repeated as champion.

The team tennis playoffs began Tuesday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals were Thursday. Both rounds were held on the court of the higher seeds.

South Portland’s girls, ranked 10th in Class A South, lost, 4-1, at No. 7 Deering in Tuesday’s preliminary round and finished 5-8.

Scarborough earned the No. 4 seed after a 10-2 campaign and hosted No. 5 Cheverus (10-3) in the quarterfinals. Back on April 28, the host Red Storm blanked the Stags, 5-0. Scarborough had won all three prior playoff encounters, including a 5-0 decision in last year’s quarterfinals.

In Class B South, defending state champion Cape Elizabeth went 6-6 and earned the No. 4 seed. The Capers hosted No. 5 Oak Hill (6-4) in the quarterfinals. The teams didn’t meet this season.

On the boys’ side, defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth went 9-3 and earned the No. 3 seed in Class B South. The Capers hosted No. 6 Freeport (5-7) in the quarterfinal round. Cape Elizabeth won the regular season meeting, 4-1, April 24 in Freeport.

In Class A South, Scarborough went 9-3 and earned the No. 4 seed and with it, a quarterfinal round tilt against Cheverus (8-4). The Red Storm lost, 3-2, at the Stags back on April 28. Scarborough won three of four prior encounters, including a 4-1 victory in the 2013 Western A preliminary round, the most recent meeting.

South Portland went 3-9 this spring and finished 12th in Class A South, but only 10 teams qualified for the playoffs.

Looking ahead, the semifinals for boys’ and girls’ tennis will be held Saturday on the courts of the higher seeds. The regional finals are Thursday in Lewiston. The state finals are Saturday, June 10 in Waterville.

Baseball

All three local baseball teams are postseason-bound.

In Class A South, South Portland, the 2015 regional champion and regional runner-up last spring, took an 11-3 record and the No. 5 spot in the Heal Points standings into Wednesday’s game at Biddeford. The Red Riots were coming off a 5-4, nine-inning home win over Windham Tuesday. South Portland rallied from an early 3-1 deficit and after allowing a run in the top of the eighth, the Red Riots tied the score in the bottom half on Gordon Whittemore’s double, then won it with a run in the ninth on Riley Hasson’s sacrifice fly. Connor Buckley got the win in relief. South Portland closed the regular season at home versus Bonny Eagle Thursday.

Scarborough was 9-6 and eighth after wins over visiting Biddeford (7-5) and at Massabesic (8-2). The Red Storm closed at Cheverus Wednesday and had a chance to move up further with a victory.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 10-4 and fifth at press time following a 5-4, come-from-behind home win over Yarmouth and a 10-0 win at Old Orchard Beach. The Capers were down, 4-0, after a half-inning against the Clippers, but rallied behind two hits from Brendan Tinsman. After going to St. Dom’s Wednesday, Cape Elizabeth closed at Fryeburg Academy Thursday.

The baseball postseason begins with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week on the fields of the higher seeds.

Softball

Scarborough’s softball team will be the top seed for the regional tournament for the sixth year in a row after producing a 16-0 regular season, capped by wins over visiting Massabesic (13-1, in six-innings), visiting Noble (8-3) and host Biddeford in a regional final rematch (21-0, in five-innings). Against the Mustangs, Abbie Murrell was the star, hitting two home runs and earning the victory behind a three-hitter. Hunter Greenleaf also hit a home run and Hannah Ricker had three hits. In the win over the Knights, which proved to be the Red Storm’s closest game all season, pitcher Lilly Volk crushed a three-run home run in the first inning, but Noble rallied to tie. The game remained 3-3 into the bottom of the fifth, where Scarborough scored five times to pull away. Volk went the distance and struck out 13. She also had two hits, as did Bella Dickinson and Chloe Griffin.

“I’m really proud of the team today,” said Volk, who will play at the University of Maine next year. “I think this was the biggest game we’ve had all season and the biggest step we’ve taken all season. We were challenged and we overcame. It was a big game and it showed our true colors very well.”

“This was great, having to regroup,” said longtime Red Storm coach Tom Griffin. “It was exactly what we needed. We were going to find something out about ourselves, whether or not we could respond, and we did. I’m probably more proud of the girls today than I’ve been all season. Hopefully this will pay off down the road.”

Scarborough got a measure of revenge for last year’s playoff ouster against Biddeford as Chloe Griffin and Murrell combined on a three-hitter and Greenleaf and Volk had three hits apiece to pace the offense.

That win extended the Red Storm’s regular season win streak to 73 games (their last loss was a 3-2, eight-inning, home setback to Sanford May 6, 2013).

South Portland was clinging to the 12th and final playoff berth in Class A South with a 6-9 record entering Thursday’s regular season home finale versus Gorham. The Red Riots were coming off an 8-0 home win over Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy and a 6-5 setback at Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth. Stephanie Aceto threw a three-hitter and had 10 strikeouts in the win. Grace Rende drove in two runs with a triple and Kaitlin Bouchard had a pair of hits. Maeve Kelley had three hits in the loss to the Sea Lions.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 8-6 and seventh going into regular season-ending games at St. Dom’s and Fryeburg Academy. The Capers were coming off an 8-1 loss at Lake Region and a 7-6 come-from-behind home win over Yarmouth and a 23-0 (five-inning) victory at Old Orchard Beach. Against the Clippers, Cape Elizabeth tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth and with one out in the seventh, Maddie Culkin hit a walkoff home run. Jessie Robicheaw earned the win and had three hits.

“It feels great,” Culkin said. “I was kind of in a slump, then that put me over the top. It was so surreal. I didn’t think it really happened, then I broke into tears. I’ve hit home runs before when you know the moment the ball hits off your bat and as soon as I hit it, I knew. It was awesome to know that everyone was behind me.”

“It’s a huge win over a quality tournament team,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Joe Henrikson. “It’s big for the kids. They had a good comeback, then we did. We’re either on or we’re not, it’s unbelievable.”

Robicheaw threw a five-inning no-hitter against the Seagulls, allowing just one walk. She also drove in four runs and Culkin hit a grand slam and had six RBI.

The softball postseason begins with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week on the fields of the higher seeds.

Boys’ lacrosse

Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team, the defending Class A state champion, won its final eight games this spring to go 10-2 and earn the top seed for the Class A South playoffs. The Red Storm closed with a wild 21-16 home win over Biddeford.  Sam Neugebauer led a balanced attack with five goals and Andrew Granzier added four.

South Portland was 8-3 and third in Class A South heading into Wednesday night’s home finale versus Massabesic. The Red Riots extended their win streak to four by downing host Bonny Eagle Tuesday, 24-11, behind nine goals from Cooper Mehlhorn.

Cape Elizabeth will be the top seed in Class B South. The Capers improved to 10-1 after a 9-2 home win over Greely and a 21-5 victory at Wells. Ben Carroll and Owen Thoreck both had three goals against the Rangers. Finn Raymond scored five times and Carroll and Thoreck added three goals apiece in the win over the Warriors. Cape Elizabeth closes at home versus Yarmouth Friday night.

The boys’ lacrosse playoffs begin Monday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are June 8. Both rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Scarborough finished strong to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2000. The Red Storm won their final two games, 19-10 at home over Westbrook and 14-13 at Biddeford, to wind up 3-9 and eighth in Class A South.

South Portland was 5-6 and seventh in Class A South entering its finale Thursday at Massabesic. The Red Riots were coming off a 17-5 home win over Noble Tuesday behind four goals apiece from Paige Fleming and Jena Leckie.

In Class B South, one year after winning just three games and missing the playoffs, Cape Elizabeth will be a postseason participant this spring, as either the No. 4 or the No. 5 seed, after closing with a 15-9 win at Waynflete and a 6-5 home loss to Kennebunk to wind up 7-5. In the victory, the Capers’ first in the regular season over the Flyers since 2002, Caroline Coburn led a balanced offense with four goals and goalie Erin Foley made 10 clutch saves.

“It feels great,” Coburn said. “Last year was a tough year for us, but we’ve come back this year. We didn’t play selfishly today. We played together as a team.”

“We came back after last season and we decided we wanted it so badly,” Foley said. “We’re a family on the field. We’ve worked really hard.”

“We know we can take on great teams,” added Capers coach Alex Spark. “We’ve focused on one game at a time. We came out ready to play Waynflete today. We came out and played as a 12-man unit. We worked hard and came out on top.”

In the loss, Cape Elizabeth erased a three-goal second half deficit, but gave up a goal with 58.8 seconds left. Coburn, Chloe Chapin, Mariah Deschino, Susie Graham and Emily Healy all scored and Foley made eight saves, but it wasn’t enough.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more from our girls,” said Spark. “I said at halftime, we don’t care about the score, but we want them coming off the field feeling good about how they played and we had girls coming off with smiles.

“It’s been really great to have our same team back and we’ve worked so hard this season. Our goal was to make playoffs.”

The girls’ lacrosse playoffs begin Monday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are June 8. Both rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

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

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