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Stretch run begins for local spring teams

Sports

Stretch run begins for local spring teams

Last week, local sports teams continued to jockey for playoff position, taking part in a series of memorable contests. Here's a look at where things stand as the spring sports season nears the final turn:

Baseball

The Cape Elizabeth baseball team is still perfect. Barely. After winning, 7-0, at Yarmouth and 5-1 at home over York last week, the Capers had to go 10 innings Monday to edge visiting Freeport, 1-0, to improve to 10-0 (good for first in the Western Class B Heal Points standings as of Wednesday morning). In the win over the Clippers, senior Conor Moloney threw a gem, allowing just five hits, and junior Cam Brown had four hits. Against the Wildcats, junior Rob MacDonald threw a one-hitter and had a pair of hits, as did senior Ezra Wolfinger. Brown's RBI double finally broke the scoreless deadlock against the Falcons, while senior Will Pierce and Brown combined to surrender just three hits. Cape Elizabeth was supposed to host No. 2 Yarmouth Wednesday, but that game was postponed to Thursday due to a wet field. Friday, the Capers are at Falmouth. Monday, they host Lake Region.

In Western A, Scarborough and South Portland remain right in the thick of things.

The Red Riots were fifth in the Heals as of Wednesday with a 7-3 mark after winning four of five. Last Thursday, South Portland eked out a 4-3 victory at Cheverus. Junior Paul Reny and sophomore Brendan Horton homered and seniors Mike Foley and Matt Lee added RBI hits as junior Andrew Richards went the distance to earn the victory. Saturday, the Red Riots fell, 4-2, at home to Bonny Eagle despite a strong start from Lee. Tuesday, South Portland got a one-hit, no walk performance from Richards in a 2-0 home win over Portland. The Red Riots were home with Windham Thursday, had a showdown at three-time defending Class A champion Deering Saturday and go to Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

The Red Storm were eighth in the standings with a 6-3 mark after Tuesday's 4-2 win at Cheverus. Austin Downing had the go-ahead hit and sophomore Ben Wessel earned the victory. Scarborough was coming off a 4-0 home victory over Kennebunk (behind Wessel's three-hitter) and an agonizing 6-5 loss at Biddeford Monday, on a three-run, walkoff homer in the bottom of the seventh. The Red Storm were home with Gorham Thursday, host Portland Saturday, Marshwood Monday and South Portland Tuesday.

Softball

While Scarborough and South Portland's softball battle of undefeateds lived up to billing Monday (please see story), Cape Elizabeth has won four of six to get into the Western B playoff picture. The Capers were 12th in the Heals as of Wednesday morning, but still have time to earn some wins and enough points to finish among the top nine, which would mean a postseason berth. Cape Elizabeth has sandwiched impressive wins over host Yarmouth (12-2) and visiting Freeport (7-0) around a 5-1 home setback to York. In the win over the Clippers, sophomore Lexi Cantara had three hits and drove in three runs, while junior Ally Boyington's strong effort on the mound earned the victory. Against the Falcons, Boyington threw a four-hit shutout, Cantara went deep and junior Emily Donovan had three hits. The Capers were supposed to host Yarmouth Wednesday, but a wet field moved the game to Thursday. After going to Falmouth Friday, Cape Elizabeth is home with Lake Region Monday.

Boys' lacrosse

While Cape Elizabeth's boys' lacrosse team was dropping a tough decision at Falmouth Tuesday (please see story), South Portland was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.

On Senior Night, the Red Riots hosted a Thornton Academy squad which raced to a 4-2 halftime lead and a 5-2 advantage early in the third period. Goals from seniors Adam Burpee and Garret Reuscher pulled South Portland within one, but twice in the waning moments, Red Riots' bids were denied point blank by the Golden Trojans' goalie (including one on Burpee with 2.8 seconds to go) and the run came to an end.

"This is probably the best thing that could have happened to us.," said South Portland coach Tom Fiorini. "We needed a wakeup call. We had a little bit of a soft schedule. I give TA all the credit in the world. They came ready to play. I liked the way my kids played today. The ball just wouldn't go in the cage. That was tough. We had our opportunities."

Burpee had two goals, while senior goalie Travis Wibby stopped 13 shots.

The Red Riots (second to Kennebunk in the Western A Heals and eighth in the latest coaches' poll) finishes on the road with games at Marshwood, Bonny Eagle and Kennebunk.

"We never had a goal of going undefeated," Fiorini said. "It's not an issue for us. We have three good games left. We'll be in the playoffs. That's where our focus is. If we win out, we're where we want to be."

Scarborough was fifth in Western A (and ninth in the coaches' poll) with a 4-4 mark entering Wednesday's tilt at Windham. The Red Storm enjoyed a 14-5 home romp over Bonny Eagle last Wednesday, but Friday, in a ridiculously penalty-plagued affair (40 total, 27 on the home team), Scarborough gave visiting North Yarmouth Academy a scare, but fell, 8-6, despite a pair of goals from senior Matt Mayo and 13 saves from goalie Brett Leighton. The Red Storm host Gorham Saturday and Massabesic Wednesday before closing the regular season at Portland June 1.

Girls' lacrosse

Scarborough's girls' lacrosse squad can still call itself perfect, but it faces a battle of unbeatens Saturday. The Red Storm trounced host Cheverus, 23-11, last Thursday (senior Lindsay Hagerman had seven goals and three assists and senior Ellie Morin added six goals), then improved to 7-0 Friday with a 14-9 home triumph over Mt. Ararat (Hagerman had five goals and four assists, while Morin finished with four goals). Scarborough (first in the Western A Heals) goes to Thornton Academy Friday, then hosts unbeaten Gorham Saturday. Tuesday of next week, the Red Storm visit Marshwood and two days later, they have a chance to avenge playoff ousters from the last years when they visit Kennebunk.

South Portland is 4-4 and fifth in Western A. The Red Riots stopped a three-game skid Saturday with a 12-9 home win over Lewiston. Junior Rebecca Roberts had three goals, while senior Kate Lagios and junior Nikki LaPlante both scored twice. After a 10-4 home loss to Windham Monday, South Portland enjoyed a 16-10 home triumph over McAuley Tuesday (behind seven goals from LaPlante). The Red Riots are at Lincoln Saturday and host Deering Tuesday of next week.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is 5-3 and third in the standings. The Capers crushed visiting Greely, 14-4, last Wednesday, then won, 17-11, at Wells Friday. Freshman phenom Lauren Steidl had five goals against the Warriors, junior Anna Darling had four, while junior Karyn Barrett added three goals and two assits. In the win over the Rangers, Steidl scored five times, while Barrett finished with four goals. Cape Elizabeth was home with York Thursday and visits NYA Saturday. Tuesday, the Capers host Fryeburg.

Track

The outdoor track regular season has just one week to go as conference championship meets will be held May 29 and the state championships are June 5.

Last week, Cape Elizabeth joined NYA and York for a meet at Greely, where the boys came in third and the girls were fourth. Cape Elizabeth hosts Falmouth, Greely, St. Dom's and Yarmouth Friday.

Scarborough (along with Gorham and Westbrook) competed at Windham Tuesday. The girls' squad took first, while the boys were second. The Red Storm host Cheverus, Deering, McAuley, Portland and South Portland Friday.

Speaking of the Red Riots, the girls joined Deering, McAuley and Portland for a meet at Cheverus Tuesday and placed third. Results for the boys' competition with Cheverus, Deering and Portland the day before was unavailable.

Tennis

With the team portion of the tennis season nearing conclusion, the start of the state singles tournament was held last weekend with the qualifying round.

Cape Elizabeth's Matthew Gilman, ranked ninth, advanced by virtue of wins over Marshwood's Tad Olson (8-1) and Portland's Alexander Jordan (6-1, 6-0). Teammate Ross Sherman also moved on after victories over York's Spencer Fountain (8-1) and Kennebunk's Alec Sandmire (6-2, 6-1). Fellow Caper Calvin Alden downed Cheverus' Connor O'Neil, 8-1, then lost, 2-6, 1-6, to Bonny Eagle's Tyler Adams. Scarborough's Adam Saltz, the No. 12 seed, advanced after winning matches over Massabesic's Alec Parent, 8-1, and Kennebunk's Joshua Behrens, 6-0, 6-0. Teammate Alex Henny, the 11th-seed, won his first match, 8-0, over Cheverus' David Woodbury, then lost, 5-7, 3-6, to Windham's Ryan Johnson. Scarborough's Tim Pryzbylowicz defeated Fryeburg's Yun Ho No, 8-1, then lost, 1-6, 3-6, to Waynflete's Patrick Ordway, the No. 2 seed. South Portland's Matthew Morey downed Gorham's Quincy Owens, 8-6, then was eliminated, 1-6, 0-6, by No. 3 Devin Van Dyke of Waynflete. Teammates Greg Reinhold (2-8 to No. 16 Taylor Dimick of Falmouth) and Aiden Boyce (default to Biddeford's Nathan Proctor) fell in their initial matches.

On the girls' side, Cape Elizabeth's Jenni Hewes advanced after beating Thornton Academy's Alexandra Michaels, 8-0, and Greely's Chelsea Pine, 6-0, 6-0. Teammate Kristin Kerney beat Greely's Isobel Fresne, 8-3, then lost, 0-6, 0-6, to Falmouth's Annie Criscione. Fellow Caper Catie Macdonald lost her first match, 2-8, to Halley Peterson of Kennebunk. Scarborough's Shannon Eddy won her first match, 8-1, over Windham's Keisha Williams, then was ousted, 3-6, 1-6, by Freeport's Marissa Lewis. Sarah Moody was a first round winner by walkover against Thornton Academy's Margaret Moore, then lost, 0-6, 0-6, to McAuley's Addie Devine. Jenna Posey fell, 2-8, to Westbrook's Mallory Driscoll. South Portland's Alison Dolbow was an 0-8 loser to Yarmouth's Hannah Potter in the first round. Teammate Amanda Junkins dropped a close 8-9 decision to Portland's Corey Carmichael.

The singles tournament continues Friday, May 28, with the Round of 32. The Round of 16 and the quarterfinals are the following day and the semifinals and championship matches will be Monday, May 31. Each of those rounds will be held at Bates College in Lewiston.

On the team side of things, in Western A, Scarborough's boys are third behind Windham and Cheverus in the Heal Points standings with an 8-1 mark. South Portland (3-7) is ninth. In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is fifth at 7-2.

On the girls' side, the Capers are sixth in Western B with a 4-4 mark. In Western A, Scarborough, after tough losses to Gorham and McAuley last week, is 7-2 and fourth in the standings. South Portland (eighth) is 5-5.

The team tennis postseason begins June 1 with the preliminary round. The quarterfinals are June 3 and the semis June 5. Each of those rounds will feature the higher seed hosting. The regional finals are Wednesday, June 9, in Lewiston. The state championship matches are Saturday, June 12, at Colby College in Waterville.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net