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Baseball, softball, lax regular seasons wrap up

Sports

Baseball, softball, lax regular seasons wrap up

(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Thornton Academy and South Portland-Kennebunk boys' lacrosse and Scarborough-Kennebunk girls' lacrosse game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)

Despite Mother Nature's best efforts, the baseball, softball and boys' and girls' lacrosse regular seasons were coming to a close at press time. The postseason is up next and based on what we've seen the past six weeks or so, high drama will be the theme.

Here's a glimpse at where things stand and what's to come.

Baseball

It's been quite a season for the Scarborough baseball team, capped Tuesday by a double whammy of junior ace Ben Greenberg earning the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year honor and the Red Storm capping the regular season with a 2-0 home win over South Portland to capture the No. 1 seed in Western A. The defending regional champion Red Storm suffered two straight losses last week, 3-1 to visiting Gorham and 5-0 at Cheverus, but bounced back in a big way Saturday with a pivotal 3-0 win at Marshwood, behind Greenberg's four-hitter (with seven strikeouts) and clutch seventh inning RBIs from Kevin Dryzga and Aaron Ravin. Lefty Jayme Lappin threw a two-hitter (and fanned eight) against the Red Riots and Matt Hartl had a key RBI. Scarborough (14-2) will host a quarterfinal round playoff game Thursday of next week against a yet to be determined foe (the final Heal Points standings weren't available at press time).

South Portland's playoff hopes were on life support after the 2-0 loss at Scarborough, which was preceded by a 2-1 home loss to Westbrook last week. Adam Helmke had an RBI in that game. Zac Marles was the hard-luck loser against the Red Storm. The Red Riots (5-10) clung to the 11th and final spot in Western A entering Wednesday's finale against visiting Cheverus. South Portland likely needed a win to make the playoffs for the 15th year in a row.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was ninth at 9-6 at press time after a 4-0 loss at reigning state champion Falmouth last week and a 3-0 "home" win over Poland Tuesday, in a game played at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach. The Capers finished the regular season with a home game versus top-ranked, undefeated Greely, in a playoff rematch, Thursday.

In Western D, Greater Portland Christian School took an 0-7 mark and the No. 6 ranking (only five teams make the playoffs) into Wednesday's finale at Richmond.

The playoffs begin Tuesday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Thursday and the semifinals Saturday. All of those rounds will be contested on the fields of the highest seeds.

Softball

Scarborough's softball team projects to be the top seed in Western A, with defending regional champion South Portland a close second.

Just as many predicted prior to the season.

The Red Storm pounded host Windham last Wednesday (15-0, in five innings), then won at Biddeford Tuesday (9-5) to improve to 14-1. Against the Eagles, Alyssa Williamson threw a no-hitter, striking out nine. In the win over the Tigers, Grace Farnkoff had three hits and two RBI and Williamson drove in four runs. Scarborough closed the regular season Wednesday at home versus Westbrook.

South Portland improved its win streak to 11 and finished 14-2 after beating host Portland (11-1) and visiting Gorham (14-2, in five innings). Olivia Indorf struck out 13 against the Bulldogs, while Sam DiBiase drove in four runs and Erin Bogdanovich and Danica Gleason both had multiple hits. In the win over the Rams on Senior Day, Bogdanovich threw a five-inning no-hitter and drove in four runs, while Gleason had four hits and five RBI.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 14-1 and a close second to reigning regional champion Fryeburg in the hunt for the top seed heading into its finale, at home versus dangerous Greely Thursday. The Capers bounced back from their lone loss with a 19-4 win at Falmouth last Wednesday, as Emma O'Rourke had three hits, including a home run, and Mary Perkins added three hits with three RBI, scoring three times as well. Tuesday, Cape Elizabeth blanked visiting Poland, 3-0, as Katie Rabasca earned her 13th victory with a three-hitter and Elise Flathers had an RBI double.

The playoffs begin Tuesday with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are Thursday and the semifinals Saturday. All of those rounds will be contested on the fields of the highest seeds.

Boys' lacrosse

Scarborough's boys' lacrosse team, the three-time defending Class A state champion, has done it again.

Earn the top seed for the playoffs that is.

The Red Storm capped an 11-1 campaign with impressive road victories over Marshwood (12-5) and Thornton Academy (10-6) to lock up the top seed for the third year in a row and the fifth time in the past eight seasons. Against the Hawks, standout John Wheeler had five goals and two assists, while Cam Loiselle and Christian Neelon both had four assists. Scarborough then beat the Golden Trojans for the ninth straight time behind six goals from Wheeler, 10 saves (and an assist from goalie Davey Pearson) and a solid defensive effort.

"At halftime, we refocused and decided it was time to get down to business," defender Brendon Smith said."

"The zone slowed us down," Wheeler said. "We had plenty of possession. We had good looks and didn't finish, but we adjusted. We came around to some unconventional ways of scoring. We solidified it in the fourth quarter."

The Red Storm has a bye into the semifinal round June 8.

"We're happy where we are," Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep said. "We pulled out some close games we had to really fight for. That showed a lot. Even when we don't bring our best game, we'll do what it takes to grind it out and win. I think we're ready for playoffs."

South Portland has been hot on Scarborough's heels all season, but will have to settle for the No. 2 spot behind the Red Storm in Western A. Last week, the Red Riots earned a landmark win, edging visiting Kennebunk in a double-overtime thriller, 8-7, on Thomas Leddy's game-winner. Leddy, along with Joey Babbidge and Duncan Preston, had two goals and goalie T-Moe Hellier made 17 huge saves.

"I caught it, turned around, saw I had no angle, but I knew that I had to shoot it anyway and it hit the back of the net," Leddy said, of his winner. "I just hoped something good would happen. It feels great. It's surreal right now."

"I lost it when I saw (Leddy's shot) go in," Hellier said. "It was awesome. (Kennebunk) worked hard to come back, but we pulled it out. All year, we've played for my Dad, who's been sick. We say in the huddle, 'Win it for Ted!"

"When all is said and done, we played a wonderful game," added Red Riots coach Tom Fiorini. "Both teams. We just got lucky. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. It was a great game. It's big for the program. We're still a baby (compared to programs like Kennebunk and Scarborough), but we're coming on fast."

South Portland (9-2) entered Wednesday's finale at Biddeford with a chance to match the 2010 team for the program's best record to date.

In Western B, powerhouse Cape Elizabeth saw its eight-game win streak end last Friday night, 7-5, to visiting North Yarmouth Academy, which swept the Capers for the first time since 2007. Cape Elizabeth got two goals each from Justin Cary and Griffin Thoreck. The Capers (9-2) will still finish first in the region. They closed at Yarmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net for full details), in a possible state final preview.

The playoffs begin Wednesday of next week with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday. Both rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls' lacrosse

On the girls' side, three-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough appears to be peaking at the optimal time. Last Friday, the Red Storm outlasted visiting rival Kennebunk in a driving rainstorm, 13-8, to improve to 7-4 and help its seeding immensely. Kaitlin Prince had four goals and Avery Pietras three on Senior Night. 

"As a team, we look to different people to score," Pietras said. "We all trust each other. We don't have just one person going to goal. We all make passes and catches and goals come from that."

"It's awesome," said senior Jess Meader, who made big plays all over the field. "It's a great feeling. I actually hate this weather. It's hard with the wet strings, but we pulled it together and played well. Coach got us pumped. She has a lot of faith in us and that turns into us having faith in each other."

"It's exciting to see us play so well," Red Storm coach Marcia Wood added. "Finally. It's nice to see (the girls) come together. They've waited their turn. It's taken awhile. We knew we couldn't keep using the excuse that we're young or inexperienced. We knew that one of these days if we lose, we'll come off the field and be done. We're not ready for that."

Scarborough hoped to close with a win at Windham Thursday (in a game delayed 24 hours by bad weather) and earn the No. 1 seed yet again.

South Portland was sixth in Western A at 7-4 after a 9-8 home win over Biddeford last Thursday and a 10-6 home triumph over Portland Tuesday. Against the Tigers, Colleen Fleming, Aimee LaPlante, Abby Letourneau and Shae O'Brien all scored twice. Lani Edwards had three goals versus the Bulldogs and goalie Lily SanGiovanni made 18 saves. The Red Riots closed at Bonny Eagle Wednesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth improved to 8-3 with its third straight win, 17-10, over visiting Falmouth Tuesday. The Capers got six goals from Lauren Steidl and five more from Talley Perkins as they leapfrogged Greely into the No. 2 spot in the Heals behind undefeated, defending state champion Waynflete. Cape Elizabeth hoped to lock up a home playoff game and earn a measure of revenge when it finished the regular season at Yarmouth Thursday.

The playoffs begin Wednesday of next week with the quarterfinal round. The semifinals are Saturday. Both rounds will be contested on the fields of the higher seeds.

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