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Spring sports season off to successful start

Sports

Spring sports season off to successful start

(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-South Portland softball and Cape Elizabeth-Falmouth boys' lacrosse game stories, including additional photos and detailed box scores, please visit theforecaster.net)

The 2012 spring sports season has started and virtually every local club will have participated in at least one game or meet by the end of the week.

Here's a glimpse at what you might have missed on the diamonds, courts and lacrosse fields (no track results were available at press time).

Boys' lacrosse-Capers make a statement

Cape Elizabeth has the proudest boys' lacrosse tradition in the state, so when the Capers play a team that others perceive to be their superior, they tend to rise to the occasion.

That was the case Saturday night when Cape Elizabeth (which dominated Lake Region in its opener, 20-0), hosted defending Class B state champion Falmouth, already pegged in many quarters as the best team in the state this spring.

For one night at least, that wasn't the case. The Capers never trailed, controlled the faceoff circle early behind the efforts of junior Adam Haversat, took the lead for good on freshman Griffin Thoreck's third period goal, got three second half tallies from senior standout Timmy Lavallee and seven clutch saves from new senior goalie Will Goduti en route to an 8-6 victory.

"It's a great win," said Lavallee, who will play at Providence College next year. "It's always our biggest game. It determines homefield advantage. The seniors wanted this one. I love being the underdog coming into a game like this. We wanted this one."

"It was a good game," said Raymond. "We talked before we came out that we don't get a lot of really good games to play so we had to make the most of it and put our best effort forward. We did a nice job defensively. We played really well. Offensively, we played well at times. We did a nice job on ground balls."

Cape Elizabeth was home with North Yarmouth Academy Wednesday and goes to Waynflete Wednesday of next week. The Capers will only get better.

"We have to work on catching and throwing and ground balls," Haversat said.

"We have to keep our heads up," Lavallee said. "We come out working as hard as we can every practice. We have to keep pushing and improve as the season goes along."

Raymond knows that that there are many battles left to fight.

"If we win both times (over Falmouth), then we'll have homefield," Raymond said, alluding to the rematch May 16 in Falmouth. "If we split, we have a chance. When they get their players back, they'll be stronger."

Defending Class A state champion Scarborough has excelled in the early going as it goes for its third successive title. The Red Storm opened with a 17-1 win at Westbrook, as junior John Wheeler had four goals and six assists and senior John Blaisdell added three goals. Wheeler scored five more in a 12-0 home victory over Biddeford. Scarborough then improved to 3-0 and extended its two-year win streak to 14 games with a 17-2 win at Bonny Eagle behind five goals from Wheeler, three from Blaisdell and two apiece from Luke Erwin, Scott Kostovik and Ryan Pallotta. The Red Storm was at South Portland Wednesday, visits North Yarmouth Academy Saturday at 11 a.m., in a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project, and hosts Deering Wednesday of next week.

South Portland has been competitive, but dropped two of its first three contests. The Red Riots opened with a 10-4 loss at Marshwood. A 14-6 home win over Gorham followed as Thomas Leddy had five goals and Mike Salvatore added four.

Saturday, South Portland hosted Cheverus in a taut affair. The Red Riots took a 1-0 lead on Alec Neal's first period goal, drew even at 2-2 on Salvatore's man-up goal in the second quarter, tied the game 3-3 on Cameron Andrews' goal in the third and forced one final deadlock at 4-4 when Andrews scored with 7:21 remaining, but the Stags scored with 4:01 to go and the Red Riots couldn't answer. They did get a solid effort in goal from freshman T-mo Hellier.

"Last game we couldn't drop a ball if we had to and today, we couldn't catch a ball if we had to," said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. "T-mo's only a freshman. I might be biased and I know we have some goalies in this state who are good, but I think he could be the best in the state at his age. We're going to have a nice year. The kids are coming along quicker than I thought they would. They're young, but they're good. They're absorbing everything. I'm having a lot of fun. We're going to grow up fast."

The Red Riots hosted Scarborough Wednesday, visit traditional power Yarmouth Saturday and welcome Bonny Eagle Wednesday of next week.

Girls' lacrosse-Red Storm up to old tricks

Scarborough's girls' lacrosse team, which lost just once en route to a second consecutive Class A state championship last spring, had no trouble in its first 2012 outing, blanking visiting McAuley in the rain, 13-0. Senior Mary Scott led the way with four goals. The Red Storm looked to improve its two-year win streak to 13 games Thursday when it hosted Bonny Eagle. After going to defending Class B state champion Yarmouth Saturday, Scarborough is at South Portland Monday.

The Red Riots finally opened their season Wednesday at Sanford. South Portland has a playoff rematch Saturday at Thornton Academy, then hosts Scarborough Monday. The teams haven't played since May 16, 2005 (a 12-8 Red Storm win).

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth has lived up to preseason billing. The Capers opened with a 19-8 home win over Greely, as junior Lauren Steidl had five goals and classmate Talley Perkins added three. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth enjoyed a 15-7 victory at Freeport, as Perkins and Steidl each had four goals and senior Bella Robinson added three. The Capers host Gorham Saturday and go to York Tuesday of next week.

Softball-Scarborough beats SP in early season showdown

When Scarborough and South Portland's softball teams get together, fans usually expect a close, low scoring battle.

That was far from the case Tuesday afternoon when the host Red Storm, the defending Class A state champion, and the Red Riots combined to put 20 runs on the board.

South Portland got off to a good start when sophomore pitcher Olivia Indorf hit a two-run homer in the top of the first inning, but Scarborough roared back with four runs in the bottom half, then put the game out of reach with seven runs in the second, an inning which was extended by three Red Riots' errors. The Red Storm went on to win, 14-6.

Scarborough senior ace Mo Hannan was far from sharp on the mound, but gutted out six innings and helped pace the onslaught with the bats by rapping two doubles, scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs. Sophomore catcher Megan Murrell made a highlight-reel catch of a foul ball and hit an opposite field home run and four other Scarborough hitters, juniors Erin Giles, Marissa O'Toole and Mary Redmond and sophomore Alyssa Williamson, all had multiple hits.

"(Being behind) was a little scary, but it fueled our fire to get hits," Hannan said. "We did that and came back. "The offense was there today. That was good. I think the adrenaline was there. Everyone wanted to do well. Last year, we had a good lineup, but this year I'm even more confident. That's nice for a pitcher. "

"Starting off behind was weird to us because we weren't expecting it, but we pulled through and worked hard together," Murrell said. "(Mo) didn't let it get to her. She stayed strong. We have a stacked lineup. It's nice. You have to watch out for us."

"My kids responded really well," added longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin. "It's early in the season. We had to figure things out. We have a really good offense. I was pleased we responded."

The Red Storm had opened with a 13-0 (five inning) home win over Biddeford, as Giles and Hannan combined on a one-hitter and Hannan hit a home run and a 19-2 (five inning) triumph at Portland, as Hannan had four hits, including a home run, and drove in four.

Scarborough was at Gorham Wednesday, plays host to Bonny Eagle Friday and has its next big test at Thornton Academy Wednesday of next week.

"Anybody can beat anybody, but it will be tough to beat us," Griffin said. "I like my kids. I'm really happy. The girls really prepared themselves well going into the season. Physically, they're beyond where I expected."

South Portland opened with a 6-1 home win over Bonny Eagle, behind junior Erin Bogdanovich, who earned the win with a two-hit, 12-strikeout effort, while also rapping out three hits, including a home run. Against Scarborough, the Red Riots were paced by Indorf's three hits and four RBI and two triples from junior Danica Gleason. Ultimately, five errors spelled their doom.

"We didn't do (Olivia) any favors," said South Portland coach Ralph Aceto. "She had a few bases on balls, but we shot ourselves in the foot in the outfield. We can swing the bats. I'm pleased as punch at that. If we can clean it  up and play defense I'm used to seeing, we'll be a better team at the end than we are now. Hitting was never a concern for me with this team. We have holes we need to straighten out. My biggest concern is defense. We have yet to play well defensively."

South Portland hosted Thornton Academy Wednesday. The Red Riots play at Noble Friday and welcome Sanford Monday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth opened its season Wednesday at Falmouth. The Capers are home with Gray-New Gloucester Friday and Freeport Saturday. Monday brings a trip to Greely.

Baseball-Capers, Red Storm unbeaten

Cape Elizabeth's baseball team opened with a 10-0 (five inning) win at Old Orchard Beach as senior Will LeBlond put on a show, throwing a two-hitter and striking out seven, while also driving in three runs. The Capers were back in action Wednesday at Falmouth. They host Gray-New Gloucester Friday and Freeport in a makeup game Saturday, then go to defending regional champion Greely Monday.

In Western A, Scarborough, one of the preseason favorites, is off to a hot start, winning at Thornton Academy (9-3) and Portland (5-3). Against the Golden Trojans, senior ace Ben Wessel earned the victory and seniors Joe Cronin and Greg Viola both hit home runs. In the win over the Bulldogs, sophomore Ben Greenberg got the win, while Cronin and Wessel both had multiple hits. Wessel broke a seventh inning tie with an RBI triple. After hosting Sanford Thursday, the Red Storm is at Biddeford Saturday and welcomes Marshwood Tuesday.

South Portland dropped its first outing, 10-4, at Biddeford. The Red Riots were home with Westbrook Wednesday and went to Sanford Thursday. Saturday brings a visit from Massabesic and Monday, South Portland plays host to Thornton Academy.

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth's talented boys' tennis team opened with a 5-0 win over NYA Tuesday. The Capers host defending Class B state champion and top rival Falmouth Friday and go to Yarmouth Monday.

The Cape Elizabeth girls dropped a 3-2 decision at Greely in their opener. After going to Fryeburg Wednesday, the Capers are at four-time defending state champion Falmouth Friday and host Freeport Monday.

In Western A, the reigning regional champion Scarborough girls had no trouble with visiting Marshwood in their first match, winning, 5-0. The Red Storm was at Cheverus Wednesday, visits Gorham Friday and hosts Sanford Monday.

Results for the Scarborough boys opening match at Marshwood weren't available. The Red Storm hosted Cheverus Wednesday and Gorham Friday and visits Sanford Monday.

Both South Portland teams opened with 5-0 losses to Cheverus.

The boys go to Deering Friday and host Bonny Eagle Tuesday.

The girls visited Bonny Eagle Wednesday, host Deering Friday and McAuley Monday.

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