Spring season already at midway point
(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-South Portland baseball, Scarborough-Thornton Academy softball, Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth-Greely boys' lacrosse, Cape Elizabeth-Waynflete girls' lacrosse and Scarborough-Portland girls' tennis game/match stories, with box scores and photos, please visit theforecaster.net)
It seems like just yesterday that we were presenting our spring preview and now, in the snap of a finger, the season is half over.
That's indeed the case for most local squads, who continued to turn heads in recent days.
Here's a glimpse:
Scarborough's defending Western Class A champion baseball team is setting the pace again this spring. The Red Storm improved to 7-0 with recent wins at South Portland (12-7), at home over Biddeford (5-4, in eight innings) and at home over Noble (9-3).
Scarborough overcame the loss (likely for the season) of senior Greg Viola (who suffered an ankle injury on a play at the plate) in the victory at the Red Riots, getting five shutout innings from ace Ben Greenberg, as well as 17 hits from 12 different players. The Red Storm took a 12-0 lead, then held on at the end.
"We've hit the ball better than we did last year," Greenberg said. "We're happy with that. If one guy doesn't hit well, someone else picks them up."
"I knew coming into this year, our pitching and defense would be exceptional," first-year Scarborough coach Ryan Jones said. "The question was our hitting. We're starting to produce. Our motto is, 'Put it in play.'"
Eric Pemberton's sacrifice fly scored the winner against the Tigers. In the win over the Knights, Greenberg had a two-run triple. The Red Storm was at Kennebunk Thursday, goes to Sanford Saturday and hosts Deering Tuesday.
South Portland impressed its coach with its rally in the loss to Scarborough.
"We talked to the kids all year about playing seven innings, whether we're up big, down big or something in between," Red Riots coach Mike Owens said. "I'm proud of how the kids continued to battle."
South Portland fell to 4-3 on the season Tuesday after a tough 2-1, eight inning setback at Gorham. Nick Whitten excelled on the mound and was the hard-luck loser. He also had an RBI triple. The Red Riots were at Windham Wednesday, go to Marshwood Saturday and visit Portland Wednesday of next week.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth took a 4-3 record into Wednesday's game at Yarmouth, a rematch of last year's marathon semifinal round playoff game. Last week, the Capers lost, 11-5, at York, then pounded host Traip (20-2). Monday, Cape Elizabeth edged visiting Wells, 3-2. In the loss, Nick Moulton and Zach Culver both homered. Cape Elizabeth plays at Fryeburg Friday, hosts Freeport in playoff rematch Monday and welcomes Lake Region Wednesday.
In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School began the week 0-4 after recent losses to Waynflete (16-0), Forest Hills (17-0) and Forest Hills again (10-0). The Lions are back in action Wednesday of next week, at Traip.
Cape Elizabeth is Forecaster Country's last unbeaten softball team after Scarborough was upset earlier this week (more on the Red Storm in a moment).
The Capers took a 7-0 record to Yarmouth Wednesday (please see theforecaster.net for game story). Cape Elizabeth's recent victims were host York (8-7), host Traip (13-0) and visiting Wells (9-0). Against the Wildcats, Ashley Tinsman had three hits, including a home run, and Elise Flathers had two hits and drove in two runs. Katie Rabasca and Anna Goldstein combined to hold the Rangers to two hits, as Rabasca, Tinsman, Flathers, Tess Haller and Emma O'Rourke all rapped two hits to pace the offense. Rabasca threw a six-hitter against the Warriors, while Tinsman homered and Mary Perkins had two doubles, while driving in a pair of runs. The Capers have a showdown at reigning regional champion Fryeburg Friday, host Freeport Monday and welcome Lake Region Wednesday.
Scarborough's bid for an undefeated season came to a stunning end Monday with a 3-2 (eight inning) home loss to surprising Sanford. Grace Farnkoff and Alyssa Williamson did have two hits apiece and Erin Giles allowed just four hits, but the Red Storm still lost. Scarborough was coming off an 8-6 home win over Thornton Academy and an 8-1 victory at Noble. In the victory over the Golden Trojans, the Red Storm rallied from a 5-0 deficit and went ahead on a pinch two-run single by Sophia Burnham.
"I just wanted to get a hit, get it on the ground to move the runners," said Burnham. "I tried not to over-think it, so I wouldn't get stressed out."
Williamson came on in relief to earn the win and stranded the tying runners in the top of the seventh.
"I had to take a deep breath and relax," Williamson said. "It all worked out."
"It's a big win for us," Scarborough coach Tom Griffin said. "It's not exactly how we wrote the script, but I'm proud of the kids. It wasn't our best effort, but I'm really happy we had to go through this. It showed our character. It showed we can dig deep and be gritty and find a way to come back. I couldn't be happier."
At the Knights, Giles had three hits, while Williamson threw a five-hitter. The Red Storm was at Massabesic Wednesday, hosts Deering Friday (with a new start time of 7 p.m.), plays at McAuley Monday and welcomes Kennebunk Wednesday of next week.
South Portland took a three-game win streak (featuring a mind-boggling 65 runs scored) into Wednesday's game at Kennebunk. The Red Riots had defeated visiting Massabesic (19-7, in six innings), host Deering (28-3, in five innings) and visiting McAuley (18-0, in five innings). Against the Mustangs, Olivia Indorf had four hits and six RBI, winning pitcher Erin Bogdanovich added five hits and Danica Gleason homered and drove in four runs. At the Rams, Bogdanovich, Gleason and Sam DiBiase each hit home runs. Gleason homered, Emily Gray had four hits and Bogdanovich threw a one-hitter in the win over the Lions. South Portland is home with Marshwood Friday, visits Cheverus Monday and plays host to Windham Wednesday.
The roller-coaster ride known as the Class B boys' lacrosse season continued in recent days with Cape Elizabeth restoring itself to the top of the heap.
The Capers extended their win streak to four games with victories over visiting Waynflete (16-9), previously undefeated Yarmouth (7-5) and host Greely (8-4). Against the Flyers, Alex Bornick had six goals, while Justin Cary scored five. In the win over the Clippers, Cape Elizabeth went up, 4-0, and never looked back, getting two goals each from Jake Lynch and Cam Wilson, while forcing 31 turnovers.
"It was a big week," said Lynch. "We had momentum coming in. We wanted to protect our turf."
"We weren't going to let Yarmouth go undefeated this year," senior defensive standout Brandon Negele said. "We run a pretty unique defense that you can't pick apart. Our D-middies and long poles are outstanding. It's a tight group this year."
The Capers, playing without Bornick, who sat out with a hand injury, were sloppy at the Rangers, committing 35 turnovers, but three goals from Wilson, two more from Max Barber and 10 key saves from goalie Gabe McGinn saved the day.
"A win's a win, it looks the same in our record," said Wilson. "I just think people were hearing bad things about (Greely). We didn't take them seriously enough and we didn't come out ready to play."
"(Greely's) a good team," Barber said. "They kept the pressure on, which was good, but our defense came up strong. Once our offense gets the ball hot, it's pretty tough to stop regardless of the defense. I had the open look and I took it."
"It is a win and it's worth a lot of Heal Points," Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond added. "It's important to keep them behind us when we only play once. We don't want to come back here."
The Capers go to Cheverus Friday, then have their second showdown with two-time defending Class B state champion Falmouth Wednesday of next week, in Cape Elizabeth.
In Western A, Scarborough has bounced back from an early loss to North Yarmouth Academy and is now 7-1 after wins at Deering (16-3), at home over Portland (15-2) and at Gorham (14-3). Against Deering, John Wheeler had five goals and Chris Cyr added three. Wheeler had five more goals against Portland and continued his personal onslaught with six goals and five assists versus Gorham. The Red Storm is idle until Wednesday, when it hosts Kennebunk.
South Portland has already eclipsed last season's win total and took a 5-2 mark into Wednesday's home game versus Thornton Academy. The Red Riots won, 15-3, at Bonny Eagle last Wednesday and downed visiting Windham, 17-2, Saturday. Jack Fiorini had four goals, while Andrew Whipple added two, to go with three assists against the Scots. In the win over the Eagles, Thomas Leddy had five goals, Joey Babbidge four and Whipple had five assists. South Portland goes to Massabesic Monday.
There's been plenty of excitement on the girls' side as well.
Cape Elizabeth's hopes of avenging last year's agonizing playoff loss and beating Waynflete for the first time in 20 tries were dashed last Wednesday in a 10-8 home loss to the defending Class B champion Flyers. The Capers never led, but scored four times in just over three minutes to turn a 9-4 deficit into a one-goal game. Cape Elizabeth didn't score again, however, and despite three goals from Talley Perkins fell from the unbeaten ranks.
"I told them afterwards, 'It's about your heart and you showed it tonight,'" Cape Elizabeth coach Jeff Perkins said. "Most teams would have stayed down. I think it shows a ton about these girls and what they want to do at the end of the season. Would we have liked to win? Absolutely. I think the whole night was a great learning experience."
The Capers bounced back Friday and improved to 4-1 with a 17-5 win at Wells (Lauren Steidl led the way with five goals). Cape Elizabeth was home against Yarmouth Thursday and hosts an interclass showdown with three-time defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Capers get another crack at Waynflete Monday in Portland.
Speaking of the Red Storm, its coach, Marcia Wood, was on the brink of a landmark win at press time. If Scarborough beat Cheverus (fittingly, coached by Wood's predecessor, Jamie Chamberlain) Thursday, she would earn her 100th victory for her career. Scarborough bounced back from its lone loss with a 15-1 home romp over South Portland last Wednesday and a 10-6 triumph at Massabesic Tuesday. Kaitlin Prince scored four times against the Red Riots. Ainsley Jamieson had four goals, while Maiti Kent and Jess Meader both scored twice in the victory over the Mustangs. The Red Storm goes to Cape Elizabeth Friday and hosts Thornton Academy Tuesday.
South Portland got back in the win column Friday at Noble, 18-8 (Lani Edwards erupted for eight goals). The Red Riots improved to 3-2 with a 10-5 victory at Westbrook Tuesday, behind five goals from Edwards. South Portland was home with Biddeford Thursday, hosts reigning Eastern B champion Freeport Saturday and visits McAuley Tuesday.
Scarborough girls' outdoor track team hosted Kennebunk, McAuley, Noble and Portland in a meet Tuesday and came in first. Event winners included Karli-An Gilbert in the 400 (1 minute, 4.68 seconds), Emma Koukos in the 800 (2:43.23), Laura Volan in the mile (6:02.24), Marisa Agger in the two-mile (13:06.3), Cailley Ledue in the pole vault (8 feet) and the 400 (55.03 seconds) and 3,200 (11:46.25) relays.
Scarborough's boys were second to Cheverus and South Portland placed seventh at the Westbrook Relays last weekend.
At the Scarborough Relays, South Portland's girls tied Cheverus for second behind Bonny Eagle. Scarborough came in 10th.
Cape Elizabeth joined Lake Region, NYA and Seacoast Christian at York. The boys were third and the girls fourth. Boys' winners included Liam Simpson in the mile (4:43.1) and Deven Roberts in the high jump (5-6). The girls got wins from Hailey Petsinger in the 800 (2:30.3)
Cape Elizabeth's boys' tennis team remains perfect after recent 5-0 wins over NYA, York and Yarmouth. The 7-0 Capers were home with Lake Region Wednesday. In Western A, Scarborough fell to 4-3 with recent losses to Windham and Portland. South Portland was 3-3 at press time after losing to Massabesic and Westbrook.
On the girls' side, Scarborough took a 6-0 record into Monday's showdown of unbeatens at Portland, but dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision. The Red Storm swept doubles, but lost all three singles matches.
"We expected a close match," said Red Storm coach Steve Eddy. "(Portland's) extremely deep. I knew they'd be our toughest competition. I really like where we are right now as a team halfway through the season. If we get fortunate enough to meet them again, hopefully it will be on a neutral court."
South Portland improved to 3-4 at press time after defeating Massabesic and Westbrook. In Western B, Cape Elizabeth has won five straight and is 6-1.