Midway point passed, spring sports season heads for home-Southern edition

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Scarborough senior pitcher Abbie Murrell shows her dominant form in the Red Storm’s 15-0 win at Windham Tuesday in a battle of unbeaten teams.

South Portland shortstop Riley Hasson makes a nice sliding stop during the Red Riots’ 4-0 home loss to undefeated Cheverus last week.

Scarborough’s Sam Neugebauer whistles a shot into the goal during the Red Storm’s 11-3 home win over Cheverus Monday. Neugebauer scored four times as Scarborough won its fifth game in a row.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-York and South Portland-Cheverus baseball and Cape Elizabeth-South Portland, Scarborough-Yarmouth and Scarborough-Cheverus boys’ lacrosse game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The weather has yet to turn for the better, but most spring sports teams have now completed at least half their schedule, meaning that every game takes on added importance in the days to come.

Here’s a look at the week that was, as well as a glimpse ahead:

Baseball

All three local baseball teams had fits and starts in recent days.

South Portland was 7-3 and fourth in the Class A South Heal Points standings following a 4-0 home loss to Cheverus and wins at Scarborough in a playoff rematch (5-2) and at home over Westbrook (2-0). The Red Riots only mustered one hit against Jared Brooks in the loss to the Stags.

“The guys did a good job hanging in there and keeping it a ball game,” South Portland coach Mike Owens said. “When we did put the ball in play, they made some excellent plays. We had to be almost perfect on a day like this and we weren’t.”

Against the Red Storm, Zach Johnson threw a two-hitter and Noah McHugh had a pair of hits. In the win over the Blue Blazes, Sam Troiano was dominant for 6.2 innings, fanning 11. He also scored twice. Johnson and Riley Hasson had RBI. Connor Buckley earned the save. The Red Riots were home with Massabesic Thursday, play at Deering Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

Scarborough was 6-4 and eighth in Class A South after sandwiching 5-2 losses at Thornton Academy and at home to South Portland around a 6-3 victory at Bonny Eagle last week and pulling out a 5-2, eight-inning win at Marshwood Tuesday. Nolan Lamontagne and Cam Seymour had two hits apiece against the Golden Trojans. In the win over the Scots, Morgan Pratt went the distance and drove in a pair of runs and Seymour hit a home run. Pratt had a pair of hits in the win over the Hawks. The Red Storm went to Noble Thursday, host Gorham Saturday and welcome Windham Tuesday of next week.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 5-4 and 10th in the Heals following a 10-0, five-inning victory at Freeport and an 8-3 home loss to York last week. In the win, Brendan Tinsman hit two home runs and two singles and drove in four runs, Brett McAlister had two singles, two doubles and three RBI and Sean Agrodnia threw a three-hit shutout. Against the Wildcats, the Capers committed three errors and gave up 17 hits. Finn Bowe had a pair of hits, but it wasn’t enough.

“We put them in a good situation early on with errors and when we had runners on, we couldn’t get a bunt down,” lamented Capers coach Andy Wood. “We ran into an out on the bases. We have to be smarter than that. In a game like this, I hoped we’d show up better and compete.”

Cape Elizabeth’s game at Fryeburg Monday was postponed due to poor field conditions and rescheduled for June 1. The Capers were at Gray-New Gloucester Thursday, host Greely in a pivotal contest Monday and go to Lake Region Wednesday of next week.

Softball

Scarborough’s softball team passed its biggest test yet Tuesday when it went to Windham for a battle of unbeatens and prevailed with surprising ease, 15-0, in five-innings. The Red Storm were coming off wins at South Portland (9-0) and Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth (14-2, in five-innings). Against the Red Riots, Chloe Griffin earned the win, striking out 11, and she also had three hits and two runs batted in. Bella Dickinson, Sam Carreiro and Lindsey Kelley also had three hits. In the win over the Sea Lions, Lily Volk earned the victory and Griffin, Kelley, Abbie Murrell and Hannah Ricker had multiple hits. Against the Eagles, Murrell threw a one-hitter and homered and Kelley added three hits.

““I’m really pleased with the way my kids responded today,” said longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin. “We were ready. It was a good opportunity for us to see what we have. We just wanted to send a message to everybody that, ‘This is what we have. ‘ We wanted to play the game and play hard and play it all out and just see what happens. Try to win all phases of the game and we went out and dominated from the get-go. This is an extremely hardworking group, Every single kid on that team comes out every day in practice and gives everything they’ve got. It’s been pretty fun to work with these kids. They’re awesome.”

Scarborough (first in the Class A South Heals) played at Marshwood Thursday, visits Thornton Academy Friday and hosts Westbrook Monday and Massabesic Wednesday of next week.

South Portland bounced back from its 9-0 home loss to Scarborough with wins at Sanford (8-1) and Deering (4-2) to improve to 3-8 and 12th in Class A South (where 12 teams qualify for the playoffs). Stephanie Aceto earned the victory against the Spartans and added three hits, as did Maeve Kelley. In the win over the Rams, Aceto earned another win and had multiple hits, as did Kelley. The Red Riots looked to make it three straight when they hosted Westbrook Wednesday. After going to Massabesic Friday, South Portland is at MGA/Falmouth Monday and hosts Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy Wednesday of next week.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth took a 5-4 mark and the No. 9 ranking into Thursday’s game at Gray-New Gloucester. Last week, the Capers rolled at Freeport (12-0, in six-innings) and edged visiting York, the defending regional champions, 3-2. Jessie Robicheaw threw a no-hitter against the Falcons, striking out eight. In the win over the Wildcats, Robicheaw threw a three-hitter with seven strikeouts and Anna Torre drove in a pair of runs. Cape Elizabeth was scheduled to visit Fryeburg Academy Monday, but rain moved that game to June 1. The Capers host Greely Monday and go to Lake Region Wednesday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Scarborough’s defending Class A state champion boys’ lacrosse team is doing what it always does, peak at the right time.

Saturday, the Red Storm went to defending Class B South champion Yarmouth for a crossover and doubled up the Clippers, 16-8, behind five goals from Sam Neugebauer and four from Marco Manfra.

“We moved the ball fast and we just had to rotate against their defense,” Neugebauer said. “That’s how we put the ball in the net. It’s nice to have balance.”

“We got good looks early, but they did a good job making sure the areas where we had to throw passes were tight and they got checks on our sticks,” Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep said. “We knew if we continued to work for looks, things would change.”

Monday, the Red Storm won their fifth game in a row and improved to 7-2 and first in the Class A South Heals with an 11-3 home win over Cheverus. Scarborough got four goals from Neugebauer, two goals and three assists from Cam Thibault and played terrific defense throughout.

“This is a huge win for us,” said defensive stalwart Eric Murray. “We’ve scored a lot of goals, but we’ve also let up a lot. We knew we needed to bear down. A solid defensive win is something we’ve taken pride in.”

“It’s tough to see good shots get turned away, but when you see one or two go in, your confidence goes up,” Thibault said. “We tried to move the ball and get their goalie off balance.”

The Red Storm go to Windham Friday, host Marshwood Tuesday and close at home versus Biddeford May 29.

“We have to finish better,” Hezlep said. “On all spots of the field. We still have some miscommunications that shouldn’t happen. We have to continue to clean up the little details.”

Cape Elizabeth had a terrific week last week, blanking host Yarmouth, 17-0, then dominating visiting South Portland in a crossover, 16-2, to improve to 5-1. Jeb Boeschenstein and Ben Carroll both had three goals against the Clippers. In the win over the Red Riots, Tate Perkins and Owen Thoreck both had four goals.

“We don’t pay attention to what other teams have been doing and we do our own thing,” Thoreck said. “We worked hard in practice and executed on offense.”

“The kids were excited for a competitive game,” said longtime Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “The score might not be competitive, but it was a competitive game. Nothing came easily. The kids worked hard.”

The Capers (second to Falmouth in the Class B South Heals) went to Greely Wednesday, host Waynflete Friday, then play at Falmouth in a pivotal showdown Saturday night (see theforecaster.net for game story).

“We’ll be excited to play Falmouth and I’m sure they’ll be excited too,” Ben Raymond said. “It’s going to be a big game. That game will probably determine homefield for the (regional final).”

South Portland handled visiting Westbrook last Wednesday, 22-5, behind three goals from Ross Myers. The Red Riots then fell behind early at Cape Elizabeth and never caught up in a 16-2 loss. Cooper Mehlhorn and Jack Tierney scored. Goalie Quinn Watson made 18 saves.

“It was a good old fashioned shellacking,” said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. “Cape showed up ready to play. My kids were not prepared. Shame on me. It’s that simple. We should have given them a better game.”

Tuesday, the Red Riots fell to 4-3 and third in Class A South after a 15-9 loss at Thornton Academy. Finn Zechman had three goals. South Portland hosts Deering Friday, visits Marshwood Saturday and plays at Portland Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth was 4-4 and right in the thick of things in the hotly contested Class B South after a 10-3 loss at defending Class A South champion Massabesic last Friday and a 13-10 victory at Greely Tuesday. Susie Graham had six goals and Chloe Chapin added three in the victory. The Capers (fourth in Class B South) hosted St. Dom’s Thursday, welcome Lake Region Friday and visit Waynflete Wednesday of next week.

In Class A South, South Portland improved to 3-5 after a 12-5 home win over Portland. Paige Fleming had a game-high three goals. The Red Riots (seventh in the Heals) went to Deering Thursday and host Windham Monday night in a game that will also serve as a cancer fundraiser.

Scarborough fell to 1-7 and eighth in the region after recent losses to visiting Thornton Academy (16-4), host Yarmouth (15-3) and host Massabesic (18-4). The Red Storm hosted Marshwood Thursday and welcome Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Track

Scarborough swept a four-team track meet at Gorham Monday. Westbrook and Windham also took part.

The Red Storm girls got wins from Gaby Panagakos in the 100 (13.48 seconds) and 200 (27.86), Bethany Sholl in the 800 (2 minutes, 28.40 seconds), Emily Labbe in the 100 hurdles (15.99), Ellen Shaw in the 300 hurdles (48.92), Kirsten Dennen in the pole vault (9 feet) and their 4×100 relay team (52.69).

The boys got first-place finishes from Jarett Flaker in the 100 (11.55) and 200 (22.73), Brian Farino in the two-mile (10:09.32), Sam Rusak in the high jump (5-8), Seabastian Osborne in the shot put (47-0) and discus (134-5).

The Scarborough boys had previously finished first in a four-team meet at Cheverus. First-place finishers included Flaker in the 110 hurdles (16.51), 200 (23.14) and 400 (51.51), Anthony Clavette in the high jump (5-8), Rusak in the pole vault (15-0), Ben Hatch in the long jump (19-8.5), Connor Oliver in the shot put (43-7.5), Osborne in the discus (145-6.5).

South Portland’s boys joined Thornton Academy and Windham at Massabesic last week. The Red Riots were second as a team to the Golden Trojans and got wins from Maxwell Holmes in the 400 (53.66), Steven Smith in the 800 (2:08.15) and racewalk (6:53.65), Xander Keiter in the mile (4:46.36), Xavier Mills in the discus (138-8) and their 4×400 relay team (3:51.93).

Cape Elizabeth’s boys and girls both came in first in a five-team meet at Fryeburg.

The boys got wins from Matthew Concannon in the 100 (11.67), Jack Bassett in the mile (4:51.39), Matthew Conley in the high jump (5-10), Luc Houle in the shot put (41-2) and discus (108-8), Ben Keller in the javelin (129-6) and their 4×800 relay team (11:19.00).

Girls’ first-place finishers included Liv Palma in the mile (5:38.59), Darcy Cochran in the 300 hurdles (47.71), Kristen Penley in the long jump (16-5) and triple jump (32-6) and their 4×400 (4:26.51) and 4×800 (11:48.31) relay teams.

Tennis

Scarborough’s girls’ tennis team was 8-1 and third behind Thornton Academy and Gorham at press time after 5-0 victories last week over Maine Girls’ Academy and Westbrook. South Portland was 3-6 and 13th (12 teams make the playoffs) heading into Wednesday’s match at MGA. Defending Class B state champion Cape Elizabeth sat 4-4 and fifth in the standings after Tuesday’s 5-0 win over York. The Capers went to Greely Wednesday and host nine-time defending state champion Falmouth (riding a 147-match win streak at press time) Tuesday of next week.

On the boys’ side, defending Class B South champion Cape Elizabeth was 7-2 and third in Class B South. The Capers visit Falmouth Monday. In Class A South, Scarborough was 5-3 and seventh and hosted Windham Thursday. South Portland was 3-7 and 12th (10 teams make the playoffs) following a 3-0 loss to Gorham.

The singles qualifying tournament began Saturday. Cape Elizabeth’s Liv Clifford and Katie Gilman and Scarborough’s Ashley Levesque advanced on the girls’ side and Cape Elizabeth’s Ted Hall and Matthew Galvin moved on in the boys’ field.

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.