Sun, Sep 21, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Playoff matchups set in baseball, softball, lacrosse (Portland edition)

Sports

Playoff matchups set in baseball, softball, lacrosse (Portland edition)

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-Waynflete and Waynflete-Cape Elizabeth girls' lacrosse game stories, see theforecaster.net)

The baseball, softball and lacrosse playoffs are upon us and city teams will be in the middle of the fun.

Here's a look at who's done what and who is playing where as the fun really begins.

Baseball

Cheverus and Portland's baseball teams made the playoffs, while Deering and Waynflete just missed.

Portland posted double digit victories for the first time since 2007, capping a 10-6 campaign with a 10-1 win at Sanford last Tuesday. Travis Godbout earned the victory with a four-hitter and also drove in two runs. Dan Kane and Jake Knop both had a couple hits. The Bulldogs earned the No. 6 seed in Western Class A and hosted 11th-ranked Windham (7-9) in the preliminary round Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story). Portland lost at home to the Eagles, 11-2, on May 24. The teams had no playoff history.

If the Bulldogs prevail, they'll go to No. 3 Biddeford (14-2) Thursday for the quarterfinals. On May 12, Portland lost at the Tigers, 6-4. The last playoff meeting between the schools came in the 2009 preliminary round (a 5-4 Bulldogs victory in nine innings). Portland is 8-1 all-time in the postseason against Biddeford.

Cheverus finished on a 1-4 skid, capped by an 11-1 loss at Noble Wednesday, to wind up 8-8. Logan McCarthy and Mitchell Powers both had two hits. The Stags earned the No. 9 seed in Western A and played at No. 8 Thornton Academy (8-7-1) in Tuesday's preliminary round. Cheverus lost at home to the Golden Trojans, 4-3, in 10 innings, on May 29. The teams last met in the postseason in the 2011 quarterfinals, a 5-2 Stags' victory en route to the state championship. That evened the all-time postseason series at 1-1.

The winner advances to meet top-ranked South Portland (14-2) in Thursday's quarterfinals. Cheverus lost at the Red Riots, 2-0, on May 12. The Stags beat South Portland, 8-2, in the 2011 semifinals, in the only previous postseason encounter.

Deering finished 4-12 and 14th in Western A (but only 12 teams qualify). The Rams had a chance to get in if they won at Westbrook in the finale last week, but after scoring twice in the top of the eighth inning, Deering watched in frustration Blue Blazes answered with three runs to prevail, 3-2. Nick Carmichael and Ben Peterson both had two hits and an RBI and Dan Marzilli threw seven shutout innings.

Waynflete needed to win its finale at Sacopee last Tuesday, but fell, 8-3, to finish 8-8 and 13th in Western C (only 12 teams made the cut). Nick Morrill and Isaac Scher both homered as the Flyers fell short of the postseason for the first time since 2009.

The semifinals will be Saturday and will be played on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Western A Final is Tuesday of next week at St. Joseph's College in Standish. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 21, at St. Joe's.

Softball

Cheverus and McAuley's softball teams earned playoff berths, while Deering and Portland fell short.

The Stags capped the best season in program history at 13-3 after a 12-0 (five inning) home win over Massabesic last Wednesday. Brittany Bell threw a one-hitter, struck out 10 and homered. Cheverus earned the No. 3 seed in Western A and will host either No. 6 Falmouth (10-6) or No. 11 Marshwood (5-11) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Stags have no history with the Yachtsmen, who are playing up in the Class A postseason due to increased enrollment. Cheverus beat the visiting Hawks, 10-1, back on April 30. The Stags and Hawks have no playoff history.

McAuley wound up 8-8 and earned the No. 9 seed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Lions went to No. 8 Noble (11-5) for a prelim Tuesday. McAuley lost at the Knights, 11-1 (in six innings), May 21. The Knights beat the Lions in the 2000 preliminary round (7-6) and the 2004 preliminary round (10-7, in eight innings).

If McAuley was able to spring the upset, it would go to top-ranked Scarborough (16-0) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Lions gave the host Red Storm fits back on May 16, falling, 7-6. The teams have no playoff history.

The semifinals will be Saturday and will be played on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Western A Final is Tuesday of next week at St. Joseph's College in Standish. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 21, at St. Joe's.

Portland showed nice improvement this year and wound up 5-11, but the Bulldogs placed 14th, which left them two spots shy of a playoff spot. Portland closed with a 20-0 (five inning) home loss to Scarborough.

Deering isn't a playoff team either, but celebrated like it won a state championship last Monday, when it scored twice in the top of the seventh to win at Marshwood, 10-9, snapping a 50-game losing streak and finishing the year 1-15 and 17th in the region. The victory was the Rams' first since May 24, 2011 (10-3 over visiting Windham). Erin Winschel drove in the tying run wand Kaytlin DiBiase scored the winner on a passed ball. Sydney Giroux, who scored the tying run, singled, doubled and had three RBI, while Cassidy Coyne added two hits with an RBI.

"It felt really good," said Deering coach John Moody. "The girls were really excited. It was fun. It was good for them to get a taste of winning. It was a long time in coming. A lot of hard work. We were competitive in a lot of games. It was good to see steady improvement. This win will go a long way toward next year.

"There were times it was frustrating and there were times I didn't think (winning) would happen. I just had to get the girls to buy in. They truly kept trying. I couldn't be more proud."

Now that the Rams have gotten over the hump, look for more success next spring.

"We return a lot, but we'll be young," Moody said. "The girls are buying in. Realistically, I want us to be a .500 club next year. I think we have a good shot to make the playoffs. It's just a matter of time."

Boys' lacrosse

Cheverus, Portland and Waynflete's boys' lacrosse teams are chasing titles.

The Stags, the two-time defending Eastern A champion, will be the No. 3 seed in the region after an 8-4 season and will host No. 6 Edward Little (5-7) in Wednesday's quarterfinal round. The teams have no playoff history.

The Bulldogs finished a resurgent 6-6 campaign with a 10-9 home win over Marshwood Thursday. D.J. Cooper led the way with three goals. Portland earned the No. 7 seed and will play at second-ranked Messalonskee (9-3) in Wednesday's quarterfinal round. The teams didn't meet this year. The only previous playoff encounter came in the 2010 Eastern A Final, won by the Bulldogs, 10-8.

Deering wasn't able to qualify in Eastern A this year, winding up 3-9 and ninth (only eight teams made the cut) after a 22-5 home loss to Westbrook. The Rams missed the postseason for the first time since 2009.

In Western B, Waynflete earned the No. 5 seed at 8-4 after closing with a 20-11 home win over Freeport. The Flyers will play at No. 4 Greely (7-5) in Wednesday's quarterfinals (see theforecaster.net for game story). The teams didn't play this year. Waynflete won both prior playoff encounters (8-5 in the 2003 quarterfinals and 11-8 in the 2005 preliminary round).

Looking ahead, the semifinals are Saturday and the regional final is Wednesday of next week. Both rounds will be contested on the field of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and Class B state finals are both Saturday, June 21 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, the two defending state champions, Cheverus (Class A) and Waynflete (Class B), look to repeat.

They squared off last Wednesday of last week in an instant classic at Cheverus. Neither power led by more than a goal and the game was tied nine different times, the last on a free position goal from Cheverus' Anne Veroneau. Then, as time ran down, Elyse Caiazzo passed to Alex Logan, who scored with 0.6 seconds left to give the Stags a palpitating 10-9 victory. Caiazzo, Logan and Meredith Willard all had three goals and goalie Hope Correia made seven clutch saves.

"We were trying to run out the clock, but we didn't mean to wait so long," Logan said. "It just worked out that way. I've never been more excited. I've never been more pumped than I was at that moment."

"I wasn't even sure what I was looking for," said Caiazzo. "Alex popped at the right moment. I had to make a wish and I threw the ball and she got it, thank God."

"We always try to work the clock down and get the last shot," said Veroneau. "We knew Elyse would make a good decision. She's fantastic with feeds. We can trust Alex to score. She's such a good player."

"We haven't lost on our homefield and we played a tough schedule," first-year Cheverus coach Mallory Pelkey added. "It was one of our goals that we wanted to get done and we did. We pulled it out and I was pretty proud. It was a great way to win."

The Stags closed at 9-3, locked up the top seed in Eastern Class A and will open the playoffs at home versus No. 8 Brunswick (5-7) Wednesday in the quarterfinals. The teams didn't play this year. Cheverus lost to the Dragons in the 2011 (14-3) and 2012 (13-8) regional finals.

"We'll definitely be confident going into playoffs," Correia said.

"We'll be ready," Pelkey said. "We have a lot of leadership. More than just our seniors. A lot of these girls have been there before and they're still hungry."

Waynflete, which got four goals and two assists from Cat Johnson and three goals and two assists from Ella Millard, was left stunned by its last-second loss at Cheverus.

"It just wasn't our day today," Flyers coach Cathie Connors said. " It was just two good teams. Cheverus played well. They're a great team with awesome players. I told my girls to hold their heads high. We win as a team and we lose as a team."

The Flyers then closed the regular season at Cape Elizabeth Friday and beat the Capers for the 24th straight time, 10-5, to finish 8-4 and second in Western B. Leigh Fernandez had five goals, while Johnson added three. Helen Gray-Bauer won 12 of 17 draws.

"We knew we had to win and Cape knew it too," Fernandez said. "They played a very good game. It was close at the beginning and we pulled away."

"We always seem to feel like the underdog coming into these games," Johnson said. "That's because they're so talented. It's fun to be challenged."

"We needed this one," Gray-Bauer said. "We came into this game just wanting momentum for the playoffs. We needed to come out strong and we did."

"I'm psyched we brought it all today," Connors added. "Today, we played until the very end. We talked about patience on offense and not forcing it and trusting each other and today it worked."

Waynflete will host a semifinal round game Saturday against either No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (8-4) or No. 6 Falmouth (4-8). The Flyers beat the Capers twice this year (the other was a 6-5 home decision May 13). Waynflete is 8-0 all-time against Cape Elizabeth in the playoffs, including a 16-9 regional final win last spring. The Flyers lost to the visiting Yachtsmen, 8-6, back on May 2. Waynflete has won all three previous playoff meetings against Falmouth, with the latest a thrilling 10-9 victory in the 2012 semifinals.

Portland also made the playoffs this spring. The Bulldogs earned the No. 6 seed in Eastern A after finishing 6-6 with a 19-12 home win over Deering last Tuesday. Hallie Allex and Erin Mahoney had four goals apiece and Ella Coose and Isabel Stehli both added three. Portland will go to No. 3 Cony (9-3) in Wednesday's quarterfinals. The Rams won the regular season meeting at home, 19-13. The teams met in the quarterfinals last year and Cony prevailed, 12-8.

The semifinals are Saturday and the regional final is Wednesday of next week. Both rounds will be contested on the field of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and Class B state finals are both Saturday, June 21 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Deering (3-9 and ninth) and McAuley (2-10 and 10th) both missed the postseason, as only eight teams qualified in Eastern A. The Rams got four goals from Wyeth Spike in the loss to the Bulldogs.

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