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Spring season hits critical stretch

Sports

Spring season hits critical stretch

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth softball, Cape Elizabeth-Greely boys' lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth-Waynflete, Scarborough-Cheverus and Scarborough-Thornton Academy girls' lacrosse game stories, with additional photos and box scores, please visit theforecaster.net)

The games are getting more meaningful as the spring sports season roars past the midway pole and into the home stretch and that was reflected in recent days with several pivotal matchups. Even more loom in the days to come.

Here's a glimpse:

Baseball

Things are definitely heating up on the diamond.

Scarborough remained undefeated at press time after recent wins at Kennebunk (11-1, in six innings) and at home over Deering (6-0). Junior ace Ben Greenberg stole the show at Kennebunk, striking out eight in earning the victory, while rapping four hits, including a home run. Against Deering, Nate Wessel threw a one-hitter with 11 Ks, while Sam Wessel and Sam Perry both had two -run hits. The Red Storm (9-0 and third behind Marshwood and Windham in the Western Class A Heal Points standings) was at Portland Thursday (see theforecaster.net for full details), hosts Windham Saturday, goes to Sanford Monday and plays host to Gorham Tuesday.

South Portland took a 4-5 record and a four-game skid into a showdown at Portland Wednesday. Last week, the Red Riots lost at Windham (6-2) and at Marshwood (4-3). South Portland (ninth in Western A) hosted Kennebunk Thursday, plays at Bonny Eagle Saturday and hosts Deering Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is surging, winning four of its last five. The Capers lost a heartbreaker at Yarmouth last Wednesday, 2-1, when a Clipper delivered a game-winning two-run hit with two outs and two strikes in the final inning. Cape Elizabeth bounced right back Friday with a 2-1 win at Fryeburg, then handled visiting Freeport Monday, 6-2. Tim Brigham earned the win and Zach Culver had the winning RBI against the Raiders. In the win over the Falcons, Seth Dobieski hit a home run and Culver had two hits, including a triple. The Capers (6-4 and 10th in the Heals) were home with Lake Region Wednesday, visit Wells Friday, play host to Yarmouth Monday and travel to reigning state champion Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School of South Portland began the week 0-4 and sixth in the standings (the top five teams qualify for the playoffs). After 12 days off, the Lions were at Traip Wednesday. They return home next Thursday to face Valley.

Softball

Cape Elizabeth's softball team gave longtime coach Joe Henrikson a milestone win last week. After holding on for a 7-6 triumph at Yarmouth, the Capers went to Fryeburg and vanquished the reigning regional champions, 9-6, giving Henrikson the 200th win of his Cape Elizabeth tenure.

"We've had a lot of great people supporting the program," said Henrickson. "A lot of community support. I've had awesome parents and players. This community has stepped up big for this program."

Against the Clippers, the Capers trailed early, 2-0 and 3-2, but a home run from Ashley Tinsman (which was nearly caught by the Yarmouth centerfielder, then dropped over the fence) put them ahead to stay.

"After I hit it, I felt like it was enough, but when I saw she was close to the ball, I was scared," Tinsman said. "When it went over, I was glad. It was a crucial run that we needed."

Cape Elizabeth took a 7-3 lead to the seventh, but the Clippers rallied for three runs and had the tying run at second before Capers pitcher Kate Rabasca struck out the final batter to end it.

"That was a little stressful," said Rabasca. "I knew it could be either best case or worst case scenario. It wound up being best best case."

"A win's a win," said Henrikson. "I honestly think the sign of a good team is when you're able to win when you play poorly."

At Fryeburg, Cape Elizabeth rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 5-3 to prevail behind the tandem pitching of Rabasca and Anna Goldstein, two hits and two runs from Mary Perkins and RBI doubles from Shannon Nicholson and Emma O'Rourke.

"It was a huge win, but as big as it was, it's not the one," Henrikson said. "We might have to play them again."

Monday, the Capers enjoyed a 17-5 (five inning) home win over Freeport. In that one, Hannah Saturley had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored three times, while Perkins hit a three run home run and Tess Haller added a pair of RBI. Wednesday, Cape Elizabeth improved to 11-0 with a 13-1 home win over Lake Region in five innings. The Capers scored twice in the second, twice more in the third, added three runs in the fourth and put it away with six in the fifth, with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch.

"We still have a lot of things we have to work on," Henrikson said. "We can still be so much better. We have to get healthy."

Cape Elizabeth (second to Fryeburg in the Western B Heals at press time) goes to Wells Friday, welcomes Yarmouth Monday and plays at Falmouth Wednesday of next week.

In Western A, Scarborough bounced back from its lone loss with wins at Massabesic (5-2), at home over Deering (15-3, in five innings) and at McAuley (16-0, in five innings) to improve to 9-1 and second in the region. Against the Mustangs, Marisa O'Toole had a pair of hits and Alyssa Williamson threw a three-hitter. Williamson showed off her bat against the Rams, homering, singling and driving in four. Grace Farnkoff, winning pitcher Erin Giles and Megan Murrell all had multiple hits as well. Against the Lions, Williamson threw a three-hitter, struck out 12, homered and singled twice and Murrell also had three hits. The Red Storm was home with Kennebunk Wednesday, plays at Marshwood Friday, hosts Cheverus under the lights Monday and visits Windham Wednesday of next week.

Don't look now, but South Portland, the reigning Western A champion, is sizzling and was atop the standings at press time with a 9-2 record. The Red Riots increased their win streak to six games with recent victories at Kennebunk (11-2), at home over Marshwood (3-0) and at Cheverus (12-1). Against the Rams, Olivia Indorf threw a three-hitter and homered, Laurine German had four hits, including a long ball, and Erin Bogdanovich had three hits.In the win over the Hawks, Bogdanovich threw a two-hit shutout. Against the Stags, Danica Gleason had four hits, including a home run, and drove in four runs, Sam DiBiase also had four RBI and oh by the way, Bodganovich threw a no-hitter, fanning nine. South Portland was home with Windham Wednesday, goes to Westbrook Friday, hosts Biddeford Monday and plays at Portland Wednesday of next week.

Boys' lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth's boys' lacrosse team was on a roll entering Wednesday night's home showdown with two-time defending Class B state champion Falmouth (see theforecaster.net for full details). Last week, the Capers won at Greely (8-4) and Cheverus (6-2) to improve to 6-1 and first in the Heals. At the Rangers, Cape Elizabeth overcame 35 turnovers and the absence of senior standout Alex Bornick, as Cam Wilson had three goals, Max Barber a pair and goalie Gabe McGinn stopped 10 shots.

"A win's a win, it looks the same in our record," said Wilson. "Day games are always tough. 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."

"It is a win and it's worth a lot of Heal Points," Capers coach Ben Raymond said. "It's important to keep them behind us when we only play once. We don't want to come back here."

Cape Elizabeth got two goals from Bornick upon his return to beat the reigning Eastern A champion Stags. The Capers play host to one-time rival Kennebunk Friday (see theforecaster.net) and visit Fryeburg Tuesday. Games with North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth also remain.

In Western A, the three-time defending state champion Red Storm of Scarborough took a three-game win streak, a 7-1 mark and the No. 3 seed in the standings into Wednesday night's home game against top-ranked Kennebunk. Scarborough hadn't played in eight days. The Red Storm has an interclass showdown at Class B power Yarmouth Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story), visits Marshwood Wednesday, then closes at Thornton Academy May 28.

South Portland has won four straight and is now second in the Heals with a 7-2 mark after last Wednesday's hard-fought 10-7 home win over Thornton Academy and Monday's 17-7 victory at Massabesic. Against the Golden Trojans, Duncan Preston had four goals and Thomas Leddy three. Leddy went off for seven goals to spark the win over the Mustangs. The Red Riots play at Waynflete Saturday, host Kennebunk Wednesday and close at Biddeford May 29.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, the quest of Scarborough coach Marcia Wood to achieve her 100th career victory turned into a three-game, six-day odyssey. Last Thursday, the Red Storm lost in overtime to visiting Cheverus, 9-7, then 24 hours later, fell at Cape Elizabeth, 10-8.

Against the Stags, Scarborough rallied from a 7-2 second half deficit to tie it on Avery Pietras' goal with 1:48 left, but Cheverus got both goals in the six minute extra session.

"My mother had balloons. so we spoiled the party, but it was a great comeback," Wood said. "We had plenty of opportunities. It's a young team still trying to figure things out. We're getting there."

A similar script followed at the Capers, as the Red Storm was down, 4-0, early, but Scarborough roared back to take an 8-6 second half lead (Ainsley Jamieson and Bailey Adams had the goals which made it 7-6 and 8-6), only to see Cape Elizabeth score the game's final four goals.

"I tell them to give it all they've got and to leave everything on the field and good things will happen," Wood said. "When I say that twice and things don't quite go our way, it's hard to find motivation, but I told them that every game we're getting better."

Finally, Tuesday, the Red Storm got over the hump, but again it had to do so from behind against visiting Thornton Academy. Scarborough was down 2-0 early, 3-2 at halftime and 6-3 with just under 13 minutes to play, but it rallied to tie the game, 6-6 and 7-7. Then, with 2:23 to play, Jamieson scored a gorgeous goal and when a Thornton Academy player had to be removed from the field by ambulance with 7.3 seconds left, the game was called and the Red Storm prevailed, 8-7.

"It's been a rough couple weeks," said Jamieson. "It's taken awhile to get our feet underneath us, but we're finally starting to come together as a team. We've tried to get (the 100th win) for her the last couple games. We've been discouraged. It feels good to get it this game."

"It's exciting," said Wood, who took over the Red Storm in 2005 and has won four state championships, including each of the past three. "It reminds me that every year I had girls who contributed to this. My girls from 2005, who are now married and having kids, they were part of this. It's really cool to think of all the kids in Scarborough who helped build the program and who contributed to this."

Scarborough (5-3 and second to Kennebunk in the Western A Heals) was at Gorham Thursday, hosts Marshwood Tuesday and still has games remaining with Kennebunk and Windham.

"That schedule is perfect for us," Wood said. "We need those tight games. Hopefully more will go our way. The playoffs will be interesting."

South Portland was 4-3 and clinging to the eighth and final Western A playoff spot at press time. The Red Riots dropped a 15-8 home decision to defending Eastern B champion Freeport Saturday, despite four goals from Lani Edwards and three from Shae O'Brien.

"It was over pretty quick," said South Portland coach Bill Fenton. "Freeport was good at getting more possession than we did. We beat them last year, but they're a lot better now."

Tuesday, the Red Riots won, 16-6, at McAuley, behind three goals apiece from Colleen Fleming and Abby Letourneau. South Portland hosts Windham Friday, visits Deering Monday and closes with a home game against Portland and a trip to Bonny Eagle.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth continues to be up and down.

Last Thursday, the Capers were stunned by visiting Yarmouth, 8-7, despite four goals from Lauren Steidl. Friday, Cape Elizabeth rallied to down visiting Scarborough, 10-8, behind four goals from Talley Perkins, including the go-ahead goal.

"My stomach was turning," Perkins said. "It was one of those things where the momentum always swings. It didn't swing in our favor, then it swung back. It was scary."

"We knew every team comes with momentum," Steidl said. "You might lose it and gain it back. We knew we had to keep pushing and playing the whole 50 minutes and not get too high on the highs or too low on the lows."

"(Scarborough) sure came back," said Capers coach Jeff Perkins. "We both played tough games last night. Both teams looked like they'd been through a 15-round boxing match."

Monday, Cape Elizabeth went to nemesis Waynflete and lost to the Flyers for the 21st straight time, 8-4, despite two goals from Hannah Newhall.

"It's not like we lost to someone we shouldn't have lost to," Jeff Perkins said. "(Waynflete's) a great program and they understand what they want to do. They try to prevent you from executing what you want to do. That's the way you win lacrosse games."

The Capers (5-3 and third in Western B) hosted Greely Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Fryeburg Tuesday and close with games against Falmouth and Yarmouth the following week.

Track

Scarborough hosted Biddeford, Deering and Sanford in an outdoor track meet Monday and the Red Storm won both the boys' and girls' competitions. The boys got wins from Kevin Manning in the pole vault (13 feet), Alec James in the 300 hurdles (42.87 seconds), Colin Tardiff in the mile (4 minutes, 46.16 seconds), Colin Jones in the 800 (2:09.48) and the 400 (44.59) and 1,600 (3:38.89) relays. Girls' first-place finishers included Karli-An Gilbert in the 400 (1:04.79), Marisa Agger in the mile (5:58.28), Elizabeth Gentile in the discus (80-2), Cailley Ledue in the pole vault (7-6) and the 3,200 relay (10:47.47).

South Portland's girls joined Noble and Thornton Academy at Windham Monday and placed second to the Golden Trojans. Red Riots winners included Shannon Conley in the mile (5:33.68), Nyajock Pan in the 400 (1:04.36), Casey Loring in the two-mile (11:53.11), Edita Isakovic in the high jump (4-8),  The Red Riots boys joined Noble and Windham and Thornton Academy Tuesday and came in third. Jacob Maloney won the 800 (2:06.31). Thomas Hodgkins took the mile in 5:05.39.

Results for Cape Elizabeth's home meet Friday versus Fryeburg, NYA, Waynflete and Wells weren't available.

The regular season wraps up this weekend as Scarborough and South Portland go to the Cumberland County meet Friday in Gorham, while Cape Elizabeth joins Falmouth and Greely at Yarmouth.

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth's boys' tennis team was first in the Western B Heals and took a 9-0 mark into Wednesday's home match versus Greely. In Western A, Scarborough was seventh at 5-5, while South Portland was ninth at 3-6.

On the girls' side, Scarborough remains second behind Portland with an 8-1 record, South Portland was in the 11th and final playoff spot at press time with a 3-6 mark and in Western B, Cape Elizabeth sat second behind Falmouth at 7-1.

The singles tournament was scheduled to begin Saturday, but the qualifying round was moved to Tuesday due to bad weather.

Cape Elizabeth's Matt Gilman was ranked third in the Region 5 boys' singles tournament. Teammates Peter Higgins and Satchel McCarthy were fourth and fifth respectively. Scarborough's Jeff Sirocki was seeded 14th. On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth's Allie Briggs earned the No. 10 seed.

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