Fri, Sep 19, 2014 ●
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Spring season underway in full force

Sports

Spring season underway in full force

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cheverus-McAuley softball, Cheverus-South Portland boys' lacrosse and Portland-Biddeford, Waynflete-Yarmouth and Waynflete-Falmouth girls' lacrosse game stories, please see theforecaster.net)

The early portion of the spring sports season has delivered some surprises and a lot of strong play and every local team has played at least once.

Here's a glimpse.

Baseball

All four city baseball teams have at least one win under their belt at press time.

The squad off to the best start is Cheverus, which won three of its first four. The Stags opened with an 11-1 win at Gorham, then handled visiting Noble (13-0, in five innings). After a tough 4-3 loss at Marshwood, Cheverus rallied for a 6-3 home win over Biddeford Saturday.

Against the Knights, Alex Jacobs threw a one-hit shutout, Chris Tinsman homered, drove in a pair of runs and scored three times. Felix del Vecchio also had three runs and drove in two. Tinsman had three hits and del Vecchio scored twice in the loss. Mitchell Powers earned his second victory against the Tigers.  The Stags hosted Scarborough Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Bonny Eagle Thursday and visit red-hot South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Portland dropped its opener, 2-1, to visiting Sanford, then won at Westbrook, 2-1. Saturday, the Bulldogs improved to 2-1 with a 7-3 home win over Gorham. Ryan Dixon had 10 strikeouts in earning the win. Joey Apon and Joe Fusco both hit RBI doubles as Portland erupted for five runs in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs were at Thornton Academy Monday, host Marshwood Wednesday, go to Noble Thursday and Biddeford Saturday, then welcome Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Deering, which lost at home to Westbrook in its opener, 5-1, then fell at Massabesic, 11-6, got in the win column Friday with a decisive 9-1 home victory over Thornton Academy. Sam Luebbert went the distance and earned the win with a five-hitter. Kevin Goldberg had two hits and three RBI. Will Barlock, David Fowler and Mike Marzilli all had multiple hits. The Rams were at Sanford Monday, host Noble Wednesday, go to Gorham Thursday and Marshwood Saturday, then return home Tuesday of next week to face Biddeford.

In Western C, Waynflete dropped its first two games, 5-1 at Gray-New Gloucester and 2-0 to visiting Traip, then swept a doubleheader from Greater Portland Christian School (14-4 and 16-6), before improving to 3-2 Friday with a 6-5 victory at Old Orchard Beach. Nik Morrill homered and Isaac Scher had three hits in the first game of the sweep against GPCS. Jacob Hagler, Josh Lodish and Tommy Silk then had two hits apiece in the nightcap. Against the Seagulls, Joey Schnier fired a three-hitter and fanned nine. Schnier also had three hits, including a double. The Flyers host Sacopee Friday, go to North Yarmouth Academy Saturday and play host to Old Orchard Beach Monday.

Softball

On the softball diamond, Cheverus is off to a dazzling start.

The Stags opened with a 12-2 win at Deering, then sandwiched victories over McAuley (7-2 at home and 6-3 away) around a 10-1 home victory over Marshwood. In the first win over the Lions, Brittany Bell struck out 12 and Olivia Mull tripled twice and drove in four runs.

"It was a good team effort," Bell said. "I'm proud of the team. We're really coming together. We totally get fired up (to play McAuley). They're a rival. We wanted to beat them."

"I was pretty nervous, but once I hit, I felt good," said Mull, who dedicated both of her triples in honor of her mother's impending birthday.

"I'm really happy with the way things have started off," Cheverus coach Maureen Curran added. "We still have a lot of players who are inexperienced. We have some really good athletes who lack softball IQ. I'm really excited to see where they go as the season progresses."

Against the Hawks, Bell fanned 14, Josie Bradshaw doubled twice and drove in three runs and Libby DesRuisseaux and Katie Randall both scored twice. Bell struck out 12 more in the second win over McAuley, DesRuisseaux and Casey Simpson had multiple hits and Margaret Rigney drove in a pair of runs.

The Stags were at Windham Monday, host Westbrook Wednesday, go to Biddeford Friday and play host to Portland Monday of next week.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they earned their first victory Friday by holding off visiting Massabesic, 6-5. Olivia Gilbert singled and doubled and Isabelle DiMillo earned the win. Portland dropped its first three games: 10-1 at Thornton Academy, 6-0 at home to Noble and 4-0 at Sanford.

McAuley was 2-3 at press time. The Lions opened with a 7-5 13-inning marathon home loss to Marshwood, then fell at Cheverus, 7-2. Sam Libby and Ashley Littlefield both had two hits and scored a run.

"We hit better the second time around, but it was too late," McAuley coach Robbie Ferrante said. "We didn't quit, that's what I was happy about."

The Lions then beat visiting Windham (3-1) and host Westbrook (14-3) before losing to Cheverus a second time, 6-3. Against the Eagles, Taylor Whaley threw a three-hitter and Libby and Abby Tillotson homered. In the win over the Blue Blazes, Whaley struck out 14, Tillotson homered and had two singles and Libby added four hits. In the 6-3 loss to the Stags, Whaley and Kim Fisher both had multiple hits. McAuley was home with Biddeford Monday, goes to Portland Wednesday, hosts South Portland Friday and visits Gorham Monday of next week.

Deering was still seeking its first win entering a doubleheader with Portland Monday. The Rams opened with a 12-2 home loss to Cheverus, then fell at Windham (9-3), at home to Westbrook (14-2, in five innings) and at Biddeford (13-1). Isabelle Doughty had two hits versus the Eagles. Sidney Giroux had multiple hits in the loss to the Tigers. Deering plays at South Portland Wednesday, hosts Gorham Friday and visits Bonny Eagle Monday.

Boys' lacrosse

Lacrosse has produced plenty of excitement in the early going.

Last Monday, Deering, coming off a 17-7 loss at Cheverus, played host to Portland, which had won its opener, 15-3, over visiting Noble. The Rams eked out a dramatic 15-14 victory, as Alec Halpin had five goals and Nate Richards added three. Deering then fell to 1-2 after a 14-7 loss at Thornton Academy. The Rams were at Scarborough Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and host Messalonskee Friday.

Portland got four goals from Mike Fuller and three from Luigi Grimaldi in its loss to Deering, then fell to 1-2 after a 14-2 home loss to Scarborough. The Bulldogs were at Windham Monday, host Thornton Academy Wednesday and Edward Little Saturday.

Two-time Eastern A champion Cheverus was also 1-2 at press time. The Stags opened with a 9-8 loss at Thornton Academy, then beat visiting Deering, 17-7. Last Monday, Cheverus dropped a slugfest at South Portland, 15-10, despite four goals from Thomas Lawson and three from Nick Schleh.

"We had a couple instances of getting close, but they didn't let us back into it," said Stags coach Bill Bodwell. "South Portland's a good team. They're going to be one of the strongest teams in Class A. It's probably them and Scarborough as the top two teams in Class A."

Waynflete, which opened with a 15-1 loss at Cape Elizabeth, improved to 2-1 last week with an 11-8 home win over York and a 16-9 triumph at Fryeburg. Henry Cleaves had four goals and Will Nelligan three against the Wildcats. In the win over the Raiders, Cleaves had four goals and three assists and Cal Lewis added four goals. The Flyers were home against NYA Tuesday, welcome Oak Hill Saturday and go to Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Girls' lacrosse

Cheverus' girls' lacrosse team, the reigning Class A champion, was the last local team to begin its season, but it didn't skip a beat when it handled host Deering, 14-3, Friday. The Stags got four goals from Alex Logan (who also won 14 of 16 draws) and three apiece from Elyse Caiazzo and Abby Biegel. Caiazzo added three assists and Sadie Lyons also set up three goals. Cheverus was home with Bonny Eagle Tuesday, visits Windham Thursday, plays at Messalonskee Saturday and welcomes Portland Tuesday of next week.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they got the Cameron McManus Era off to a good start last week with a thrilling 9-8 come-from-behind win over visiting Biddeford. Erin Mahoney had three goals, including the winner late, as Portland erased a second half deficit.

"We started out a little shaky," Mahoney said. "We were all excited about our first game. It all came down to us working as a team, communicating and staying composed."

"It's a good start," said McManus, who took over as coach this season. "It wasn't looking good, but we made some adjustments. The girls talked it out. A lot of it was them recognizing what the problem was and working it out. It was our first game and we had to focus on fundamentals. They took it to heart. My players are versatile."

The Bulldogs were home against reigning Western A champion Massabesic Tuesday, go to Cony Saturday and play at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Deering lost its opener, 7-5, to visiting Mt. Ararat, then lost at home to Cheverus, 14-3, to drop to 0-2. After going to Noble Monday, the Rams welcome Biddeford Thursday and Massabesic Tuesday of next week.

McAuley, playing without injured standout Katherine Lake, lost its opener, 16-4, at Marshwood. Natalie Juris had two goals. The Lions went to Biddeford Tuesday, host Noble Thursday and welcome Westbrook Tuesday of next week.

The biggest surprise in the sport in the early going is the slow start of the two-time defending Class B champion Waynflete Flyers. The Flyers escaped host NYA in the opener, 6-5, then lost at Yarmouth Wednesday in a state game rematch, 11-4. Waynflete actually faced a "mercy rule" running clock for a short time (for the first time in memory) and saw its 20-game win streak come to a close. Cat Johnson did have two goals in defeat.

"A loss is OK," said longtime Flyers coach Cathie Connors. "It's part of learning. This exposed what we need to work on. That's a good thing."

Friday, Waynflete bounced back with a strong first half against visiting Falmouth and led at the break, 5-3, but the Yachtsmen rallied to prevail in a down-to-the-wire thriller, 8-6. Leigh Fernandez had four goals and first-year goalie Charlotte Majercik made eight saves, but it wasn't enough.

"It's tough to be ahead the whole game and let it slip away, but we made some nice strides," Connors said. "The first half was great, but a lot of turnovers in the second half meant a lot of running and we got tired. What I'm pleased about is that we didn't transition against Yarmouth at all, but we moved the ball a lot better today. It's baby steps."

After going to Wells Monday, Waynflete is back home Saturday to face Class A power Scarborough. Cape Elizabeth pays a visit Tuesday of next week.

Outdoor track

Deering's outdoor track teams joined Gorham and Massabesic and Windham last week. The boys won, as Yahya Hussein (mile, 4 minutes, 51.89 seconds), Iid Sheikh-Yusef (two-mile, 10:41.88), Giles Holmes (400, 56.06 seconds and long jump, 19 feet, 8 inches), Hany Ramadan (800, 2:05.43), Raffaele Salamone (discus, 105-5), Jacob Coon (high jump, 5-10 and triple jump, 38-10) and all three relays came in first in their events. The girls placed fourth. The girls featured event winners Rashad Zagon (100 hurdles, 17.93), Caitlin Lally (300 hurdles, 54.33) and Alexis Elowitch (javelin, 99-4).

McAuley and Portland's girls joined Sanford at Thornton Academy. The hosts came in first, while the Lions placed third and the Bulldogs fourth. McAuley got wins from Emma Downey in the racewalk (11:07.08), Olivia Smith in the discus (116-1), shot put (32-11.5) and the javelin (91-5) and Elena Woods in the high jump (4-2). Portland's Maggie Hosmer won the 800 (2:48.88).

Cheverus' girls joined Biddeford and Noble at Westbrook. The Stags came in first as a team, as Sarah Mount (100 hurdles, 17.24 and 300 hurdles, 51.64), Lizzie Ford (100, 13.14; 200, 28.04; triple jump, 30-6.5 and long jump, 14-10), Kiera Murray (800, 2:39.0 and mile, 5:40.0), Emily Turner (400, 1:05.24) and their 1,600 relay (4:31.6) all placed first.

Cheverus' boys beat Noble, Biddeford and Westbrook. Isaac Yeboah won the 100 hurdles (15.3) and the 300 hurdles (42.1). Elijah Yeboah was first in the 400 (53.5). Jake Schott took the high jump (5-6) and the pole vault (9-6). Nick White took the shot put (47-7) and the discus (145-11.5). Tim Jerome came in first in the javelin (154-7).

Portland's boys were third behind Thornton Academy and host Bonny Eagle. The Bulldogs were first in the 3,200 relay (10:24.1).

Both Waynflete teams were fifth at a five-team meet at Traip Friday. Lydia Fox won the girls' 800 in 2:26.89. Cody Tiparos was the top boys' finisher, coming in second in the 200 (24.98).

Tennis

Portland's girls' tennis team entered the 2014 season full of confidence after just missing out on a state title a year ago. The Bulldogs easily handled their first two foes, host Windham (4-1) and visiting Deering (5-0). Portland took a 15-match regular season win streak into Monday's contest at Thornton Academy. After hosting Scarborough Wednesday, the Bulldogs welcome Gorham Friday and go to Bonny Eagle Monday of next week.

Elsewhere in Class A, Deering's boys started with 5-0 wins over visiting Gorham and Portland and host Westbrook. The Rams were at Scarborough Monday. Cheverus opened with 3-2 home wins over Massabesic and Bonny Eagle and played at Westbrook Monday. Portland began with a 4-1 home loss to Windham and a 5-0 setback at Deering. The Bulldogs were home with Thornton Academy Monday.

On the girls' side, Cheverus began with 5-0 victories at Massabesic and Bonny Eagle. The Stags hosted Westbrook Monday. Deering sandwiched losses at Gorham (3-2) and Portland (5-0) around a 5-0 home win over Westbrook. The Rams welcomed Scarborough Monday. McAuley opened with a 3-2 home loss to Marshwood, beat host Biddeford, 3-2, then fell at Gorham, 4-1. The Lions were home against Windham Monday.

Six-time defending Class C boys' champion Waynflete lost at defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth, 4-1, in its opener, then won at Freeport, 4-1. The Flyers were at Greely Monday and York Tuesday, host NYA Wednesday, visit Kennebunk Thursday and host Fryeburg Monday of next week.

The Waynflete girls, the three-time Class C champs, beat visiting Cape Elizabeth (4-1) and York (5-0) to open the year. The Flyers improved to 3-0 with a 5-0 home victory over Freeport. After hosting Greely Monday and going to Lake Region Tuesday, Waynflete visits NYA Wednesday, hosts Kennebunk Thursday and goes to Fryeburg Monday of next week.

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