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Spring season hits midway point

Sports

Spring season hits midway point

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Scarborough baseball, Deering-Scarborough boys' lacrosse and Cheverus-Windham and Waynflete-Scarborough girls' lacrosse game stories, with photos and box scores, please see theforecaster.net)

With nicer weather (finally) as a backdrop, the short spring season neared its midway point in recent days and action has heated up on the diamonds, fields, tracks and courts.

Here's a glimpse.

Baseball

The only predictable thing about the 2014 baseball season to date has been its unpredictability as each local team took steps forward and backward last week.

In Western A, Portland began the week fifth in the Heal Points standings with a 4-2 record after a 5-4 loss at Thornton and wins over visiting Marshwood (5-4) and host Noble (4-2). Dan Kane had three hits and Nick DiPalma two in the loss. Against the Hawks, Owen Pence got the win, Ryan Ruhlin had two hits and four RBI and Kane and Joe Fusco also had multiple hits as the Bulldogs erased an early 3-0 deficit. Portland was scheduled to play at Biddeford Saturday, but that game was postponed by rain and made up Monday. The Bulldogs hosted Bonny Eagle Tuesday, welcome Cheverus Thursday (see theforecaster.net for the game story), play at Scarborough Saturday and go to South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus was also 4-2 and 11th in the fluid Heals after losing at home to Scarborough, 2-0, and winning at Bonny Eagle, 2-1. In the loss, the Stags only managed three hits against Red Storm ace, Fordham-bound Ben Greenberg. Alex Jacobs was the hard-luck loser.

"This was the kind of game you expect," Cheverus coach Mac McKew said. "You have to score runs if you expect to win. There's no margin for error when you compete against a pitcher like that."

In the victory, Jensen LaPoint threw a three-hitter to earn the win, Mitchell Powers earned the save with a perfect seventh and Felix del Vecchio and Derek Hammond drove in runs. The Stags were at South Portland Tuesday, visit Portland Thursday, welcome Windham Friday and play host to Deering Tuesday of next week.

Speaking of the Rams, they were 2-5 and 13th in Western A after a 4-2 home win over Gorham, a 3-2 setback at Gorham and a 13-11 loss at Marshwood. In the victory, Sam Luebbert went the distance for the win, Nick Carmichael had two hits, Kevin Goldberg had three RBI and Dom Bernard also drove in a run. At Gorham, Nick Bevilacqua had three hits and a game-tying RBI, but Deering lost in the bottom of the seventh. At the Hawks, the Rams couldn't hold an early 9-2 lead and suffered a tough loss despite Bevilacqua's three hits and two RBI. Goldberg also drove in two runs. The Rams were home with Biddeford Tuesday, welcome Scarborough Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story), play at Bonny Eagle Saturday and go to Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Waynflete is once again quietly putting together a very competitive team in Western C. The Flyers began the week 4-3 and 10th in the Heals after bouncing back from a 5-0 home loss to Sacopee with a 12-6 come-from-behind win at North Yarmouth Academy. Waynflete was home with Old Orchard Beach Monday, goes to Traip Friday, hosts NYA Saturday and plays at Sacopee Monday of next week.

Softball

Cheverus' softball began the week with an undefeated mark. Last week, the Stags won at Windham (5-3), then held off visiting Westbrook (7-6) to improve to 6-0. Against the Eagles, Libby DesRuisseaux had three doubles and Brittany Bell also had three hits while fanning 13 to earn the win. Cheverus blew a 6-0 lead against the Blue Blazes, but after shortstop Olivia Mull made a nice defensive play to keep the game tied in the top of the seventh, Margaret Rigney won it in the bottom half with an RBI single (her third run batted in of the game) to score DesRuisseaux, who had four hits and two RBI. The Stags' game at Biddeford Saturday was postponed to Thursday due to bad weather. First, Cheverus hosted Portland Monday (see theforecaster.net for story), then faces a stern test at South Portland Wednesday. The Stags return home Friday to meet Gorham, then go to Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.

McAuley has hit its stride of late. Last week, the Lions held off visiting Biddeford (4-3) and rolled at Portland (15-4) before nearly upsetting South Portland (falling, 9-7). Against the Tigers, Taylor Whaley earned the win and Ally Tillotson scored three times, including the winner on a wild pitch in the seventh. At the Bulldogs, Tillotson homered, doubled and singled twice and Whaley and Sam Libby each had four hits. McAuley fell behind the Red Riots, 4-1, but tied the score on a three-run Tillotson homer. The Lions pushed across three more runs to take the lead and clung to a 7-6 advantage with two outs in the seventh, but South Portland got a triple from Laurine German, Miranda Gleason walked and pitcher Olivia Indorf hit a home run to ruin McAuley's quest to shock the world and earn some huge Heal Points. The Lions (4-4 and sixth in Western A) were at Gorham Monday, go to Bonny Eagle Wednesday and visit defending state champion Scarborough Friday and return home Monday of next week to play Thornton Academy.

Portland remains competitive. Last week, the Bulldogs swept a doubleheader against Deering, 8-3 (Maddie Kennie went the distance for the win), and 12-5 (as Cassandra Kennie paced the offense). After falling at home to McAuley (15-4, despite two hits apiece from Cierra Burnham and Gianna Gaudet), Portland lost to visiting Marshwood, 5-4. The Bulldogs (3-5 and 16th in the standings) were at Cheverus Monday, play host to Windham Wednesday, visit Westbrook Friday and welcome Biddeford Monday of next week.

Deering is still seeking its first win. After being swept by Portland (8-3 and 12-5), the Rams lost at home to South Portland (33-9, in five innings). Friday's home game against Gorham was postponed by rain. Deering (0-7 and 18th in Western A) was at Bonny Eagle Monday, hosts Scarborough Wednesday, plays at Thornton Academy Friday, then welcomes Noble Monday of next week.

Boys' lacrosse

Waynflete's boys' lacrosse team has put it all together after a season-opening loss to Cape Elizabeth. The Flyers have now won four straight and sit fifth in the Western B Heals after recent victories over visiting NYA (6-4) and Oak Hill (14-2). Against the Panthers, Henry Cleaves led the way with three goals. Timmy Bollinger had four goals, Will Nelligan three and Cleaves, Harry Baker-Connick and Joe Connors two apiece against the Raiders. Waynflete was at Freeport Tuesday, goes to Thornton Academy Saturday and hosts Lake Region Tuesday of next week.

In Eastern A, two-time defending regional champion Cheverus began the week 3-3 and fourth in the Heals after wins over host Gorham (15-8) and visiting Bonny Eagle (15-1) and a 12-10 home loss to powerhouse Falmouth. Against the Rams, Thomas Lawson had four goals and James Kane and Nick Schleh each added three. Kane and O'Hanlon both scored three times in the win over the Scots. Against the Yachtsmen, Schleh had four goals while Lawson added three. The Stags are home against Scarborough in a Class A state final rematch Wednesday and go to Kennebunk Friday.

Deering fell to 1-4 and seventh in the region after losses at Scarborough (21-2) and at home to Messalonskee (17-1). Andrew Johnson had both goals against the Red Storm.

"We knew Scarborough's good," said Rams coach Jon Dubois. "They pass and catch well. They played a good game. What are you going to do?"

Deering hosts Bonny Eagle Wednesday, plays at Maranacook Saturday, then welcomes red-hot South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Portland was eighth in Eastern A at 2-4 after a 10-7 win at Windham (Luigi Grimaldi had four goals), an 8-3 home loss to Thornton Academy and an 8-4 home loss to Edward Little. The Bulldogs go to Oak Hill Saturday and visit Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Girls' lacrosse

Cheverus' girls' lacrosse team, the defending Class A state champion, is off to a 3-0 start after wins last week over visiting Bonny Eagle (19-6) and host Windham (11-7). The Stags got five goals from MaryKate Walsh, five more from Alex Logan and four from Elyse Caiazzo in the win over the Scots. Against the Eagles, Cheverus dug a quick 3-0 hole, forcing new coach Mallory Pelkey to call timeout and the Stags responded, going on a 9-0 run, thanks to Meredith Willard's four goals and a first career varsity goal from Anne Veroneau. Down the stretch, Cheverus' defense, led by MaryKate Slattery, held on for the win.

"Windham's a phenomenal team," said Willard. "They gave us the challenge we were looking for. It was a really good game. it was tough."

"It's a great group of girls," Veroneau said. "It's really fun. Coming in, I knew they were all really good. I knew there were high expectations for this season. I'm just glad to be a part of it. It's a good environment."

"We just talked about how we couldn't let down," Slattery said. "We fought really hard and we didn't give up.

"We held them off," Pelkey added. "I have a lot of great leadership on this team. My girls really take responsibility. I have a lot of upperclassmen and they help me out."

Cheverus was scheduled to play at Messalonskee Saturday, but that game was postponed. The Stags welcomed Portland Tuesday, go to Massabesic for a state final rematch Thursday and play host to Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

The other reigning state champion in our midst, Waynflete, the two-time Class B champion, lost two of its first three games this spring, but the Flyers have found their form in recent days. First, Waynflete went to Wells last Monday and rolled, 11-5, as Cat Johnson had four goals, Leigh Fernandez added three and Ella Millard finished with a pair. That was a mere appetizer for Saturday, when Waynflete welcomed undefeated Scarborough and staggered the Red Storm early with four quick goals and never looked back en route to a 12-7 victory. Fernandez had five goals, Johnson, Millard and Hannah Thompson-Greaves all added two and goalie Charlotte Majercik made seven clutch saves.

"This was a confidence booster for a young team," said Millard, who uttered the quote of the year so far when taking the field for the start of the second half, she told her teammates, "(Scarborough's) coming back over my dead body."

"Patience worked today," said Fernandez. "We haven't been patient in past games. We moved well off-ball. We worked on that all week. We were ready today. We had the mindset rain or shine, we'd come out strong today."

"It's really exciting," Majercik said. "It was really awesome. I think we had to trust each other and we worked really hard."

"We talked about putting each game behind us and moving forward," added longtime Waynflete coach Cathie Connors. "We had four solid practices to work on everything. It all came together today."

The Flyers faced another huge home test Tuesday, when Cape Elizabeth paid a visit (see theforecaster.net for game story). Waynflete had beaten the Capers 22 straight times, including each of the past three Western B Finals. The Flyers are then idle until Monday of next week when York pays a visit.

Portland was 1-1 and fourth in Eastern A after last Tuesday's 13-7 home loss to Massabesic. The Bulldogs were supposed to go to Cony Saturday, but that game was postponed. Portland was at Cheverus Tuesday, welcomes South Portland Thursday, plays at Scarborough Saturday and visits McAuley Tuesday of next week.

The Lions were 10th in Eastern A at 1-2 after a 14-4 loss at Biddeford and a 14-10 home win over Noble. Kaeli Leddy had five goals and Amanda Spink added three in the victory. McAuley was home against Westbrook Tuesday, visits Sanford Thursday, plays at NYA Friday, then hosts Portland Tuesday of next week.

Deering was 1-3 and ninth after a 15-8 win at Noble and a 16-5 home loss to Biddeford. Against the Knights, Heather Hodson, Lily O'Leary and Julianna Salamone all had three goals. The Rams were home against Massabesic Tuesday, welcome Windham Thursday and go to Camden Hills Saturday.

Outdoor track

The track regular season continued last week with a lot of success by local runners, jumpers and throwers.

Cheverus was the site of a city meet last week, as Deering, McAuley, Portland and South Portland all joined the Stags.

South Portland's boys were first as a team with Cheverus second, Deering third and Portland fourth.

The Stags got wins from Jake Dixon in the 100 (11.77 seconds), Isaac Yeboah in the 110 hurdles (15.74), Elijah Yeboah in the 300 hurdles (41.5), Nick White in the discus (147 feet, 11 inches) and shot put (48-8), Jake Schott in the high jump (6-0) and pole vault (10-0), Aston Kritzer in the javelin (128-0) and their 400 relay (45.37). Rams event winners included Yahya Hussein in the mile (4 minutes, 45.61 seconds), Hany Ramadan in the 200 (23.42) and the 400 (51.76), Iid Sheikh-Yusef in the two-mile (10:10.8), and their 1,600 relay team (3:54.37). The Bulldogs were led by their runner-up 3,200 relay team (10:03.17).

In the girls' meet, also won by South Portland, Cheverus came in second, Deering was third, Portland placed fourth and McAuley finished fifth.

The Stags got wins from Sarah Mount in the 300 hurdles (51.18) and Lizzie Ford in the long jump (14-6). The Rams were paced by Rashad Zagon, who won the 100 hurdles (17.44) and high jump (5-0). The Lions got victories from Olivia Smith in the discus (112-6), shot put (37-0) and javelin (103-9). The Bulldogs were led by Maggie Hosmer, who took the 800 in 2:37.17.

Waynflete joined Freeport, Kennebunk and Wells for a meet at Cape Elizabeth Friday. The Flyers boys were fifth, but Julien Ireland won the 400 (58.79). The girls got a runner-up showing from Phoebe Colvin-Oehmig in the mile (6:07.6).

Tennis

Portland's girls' squad, the defending Western A champion, continues to lead the local tennis charge. The Bulldogs took a 4-0 record into Monday's match at Bonny Eagle. Second-ranked Portland hosts Cheverus Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for more on that match). The Stags were also 4-0 (seventh in the Heals) beginning the week. After playing at Portland, Cheverus hosts Scarborough Friday. McAuley was 2-4 and 10th after a 3-2 win at Bonny Eagle Friday. Deering began the week 1-4 and 14th after a 3-2 loss to South Portland. The Rams are at Windham Wednesday.

In Western C, Waynflete, the three-time defending state champion, is up to second in the Heals at 6-1 after downing rival NYA, 4-1, and beating Kennebunk, 5-0. The Flyers host NYA Thursday.

On the boys' side, Waynflete, which has won six consecutive Class C titles, was second to Hall-Dale in the standings at 5-1 after sandwiching 3-2 wins over Greely and Kennebunk around a 5-0 victory over NYA. The Flyers are at NYA Thursday and host defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth Friday.

In Western A, Deering is off to a 5-0 start and was second to Falmouth in the Heals at press time after downing Scarborough (4-1) and South Portland (5-0) last week. Cheverus was 3-1 and seventh at the start of the week after suffering its first loss, 4-1, at Thornton Academy. The Stags welcome Portland Wednesday. The Bulldogs were 0-4 and 14th after a 3-2 loss to Scarborough last Wednesday.

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