It’s an exciting time of year for local baseball and softball players and fans.
Last weekend, the South Portland American All-Stars 11-12 softball team captured the state championship in dramatic fashion. South Portland went 4-1 in the state tournament in Auburn and saved its best for last. Down 6-1 to Calais after two innings in the final, the team scored three in the fourth, then added three more in dramatic fashion in the sixth to win, 7-6. A sacrifice fly by Alyssa Penney and a two-out, two-run double from Taylor Whaley capped the comeback. Whaley then slammed the door on the mound to give her team the championship. South Portland will begin Eastern Regional Tournament play Saturday in Albany, N.Y., against the Massachusetts state champion.
South Portland has also produced its share of baseball drama. The South Portland National baseball team won its district title and began state tournament play Saturday in Thomaston with a 3-0 triumph over Ellsworth. Aidan McKee pitched a two-hit shutout, fanning 10. Felix Del Vecchio had a double, single and a run scored to pace the offense. South Portland kept the good times rolling Monday with a 10-3 win over Elliot Avenue of Lewiston. Del Vecchio and Christopher Foley were in control on the mound and National crushed three home runs, with Matt Beecher, McKee and Del Vecchio doing the honors. South Portland returned to action Wednesday (too late for print).
Scarborough’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth team has won the state title. Scarborough took care of business in Farmington, downing Saco Bay (8-0), Tri-County East (12-1, in six innings), Franklin County (12-1) and Franklin County again (8-1). Nick Whitten was named MVP. Scarborough will next take part in the New England tournament in Leominster, Mass., beginning Aug. 7.
The American and Junior Legion postseasons have concluded for local teams. The Libby-Mitchell team, featuring players from Scarborough, finished the regular year at 14-4 and earned the No. 3 seed for the postseason. Libby-Mitchell was a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Stockhouse in its first game (thanks to stellar pitching from Chris Bernard). The team then lost 13-3 (in seven innings) to top-ranked Nova Seafood. Libby-Mitchell had a chance to reach the state tournament for a second straight year when it met Waterville in a play-in game, but the team lost, 6-3, and was eliminated. Morrill Post (Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough) went 12-5 in the regular season and was the No. 4 seed. Morrill lost 13-0 (in seven innings) to top-ranked Nova Seafood and was eliminated.
In Junior Legion action, the Coastal Athletics squad, featuring players from Cape Elizabeth made it to the state final. Coastal defeated OA-Yarmouth 4-0 in the preliminary round, downed All Sports Printing 5-3, lost 4-1 to Deering, then stayed alive with an 8-3 win over All Sports Printing. Tuesday, in the finale, Coastal fell again to Deering, 6-4. Libby-Mitchell (Scarborough) was a 6-2 winner over Cumberland, then lost 7-1 to Deering and was eliminated.
Ron Hawkes contributed to this story.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com
The state champion South Portland American softball All-Stars.
Front row (left to right): Abby Young, Kiley Kennedy, Taylor Whaley, Paige Carter.
Kneeling: Markie Amadei, Lauren Despins.
Third row: Michelle Moureau, Laurine German, Alyssa Penney, Akadia Higgins, Michelle Medici, Hannah Skeffington, Lexie Gervais.
Back row: Coach Stuart Young, manager Matt Whaley, coach Dave Medici.
South Portland’s Matthew Beecher safely slid into second base with a second inning double during South Portland National’s 10-3 win over Lewiston Monday in the 11-12 Little League state tournament played in Thomaston.