Baseball, softball, lax regular seasons end; Playoffs next for northern edition squads
(Ed. Note: For the full Yarmouth-Falmouth and Yarmouth-Greely baseball, Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys' lacrosse and NYA-Waynflete girls' lacrosse game stories, please visit theforecaster.net)
With the track and tennis postseasons underway (please see stories), baseball, softball and lacrosse are gearing up to chase their share of glory.
Local teams have either wrapped up or are in the process of finishing the regular season and here's a look at who's moving on to the playoffs.
North Yarmouth Academy's baseball team is looking to host a playoff game this spring. The Panthers, who have already produced their finest season since moving up to Class C, edged Old Orchard Beach, 2-1, last Wednesday, and won, 6-4, in nine innings, at Traip Friday to improve to 11-3-1. Against the Seagulls, senior Dean Darien allowed just two hits and struck out 11 hitters and junior Jordan Haskell ripped a seventh inning double to end the ballgame. In the win over the Rangers, Darien's two-run single in the ninth was the difference. Haskell homered. NYA (fourth in the latest Western C Heal Points standings) had a chance to move up even higher when it closed at Yarmouth Wednesday.
Those Clippers have an enjoyed a magical season. Yarmouth rallied for five seventh inning runs to win, 5-2, at Falmouth last Wednesday, then held off visiting Greely, 4-2, Friday to improve to 14-1. Against the Yachtsmen, senior Nick Whittaker struck out 11 and classmate Reed Wommack tied the game with a two-out single that led to two more runs after an error. Junior Campbell Haley had the game-winning RBI and earned the victory on the hill with 11 Ks against the Rangers. Yarmouth was a close second to Cape Elizabeth in the Western B Heals as of Monday and hoped to wind up first by virtue of a win against NYA in the finale Wednesday.
Despite Friday's loss, defending Class B champion Greely is still in the mix. The Rangers had won five in a row prior to meeting Yarmouth, including an 8-1 home victory over Traip last Wednesday (in a game played at The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach). Senior Sam Thompson earned the victory there. Junior Matt Labbe had three hits and three RBI and classmate Ben Shain drove in a pair, while scoring three. Greely (10-5 and fifth in Western B) closed at home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday.
Falmouth clung to the ninth and final Western B playoff spot as the week began. The Yachtsmen romped at Sacopee Friday (23-8) and improved to 9-6 Monday with an 8-0 home victory over Fryeburg. Falmouth closed at Wells Wednesday.
Freeport lost, 8-6, at Wells and 15-2 (in six innings), at Old Orchard Beach last week to fall to 3-12. The Falcons (17th in the standings) closed at Traip Wednesday.
Greely appears to be the only local softball team that will play in the postseason.
The Rangers easily dispatched visiting Traip (12-0, in five innings) and host Yarmouth (8-1) last week to improve to 13-2. Against the Rangers of Traip, Greely got a four-hit shutout from senior Mary Zambello, two hits and three RBI from junior Michaela Finnegan and two hits and two RBI apiece from seniors Marika Stayte and Bryce McEwen. In the win over the Clippers, Zambello threw another four-hitter and Stayte had three hits and two runs. The Rangers (third in the Western B Heals) finished up at home against Cape Elizabeth Wednesday.
The loss to Greely likely ended Yarmouth's playoff hopes. The Clippers kept hope alive last Wednesday with a 4-1 win at Falmouth (senior Morgan Ruetty had three RBI), but could only muster one run against the Rangers (driven in by junior Julie Dursema) to finish 8-8 (10th in the latest Heals, with just the top eight qualifying).
Freeport found itself 12th after winning, 12-2, over visiting Old Orchard Beach Friday. Freshman Leigh Wyman dominated on the mound, while junior Jess Kane (three RBI) and senior Stephanie Pottle (two RBI) both had three hits and senior Whitney Bibeau drove in three runs. The Falcons closed the season at Traip Wednesday.
Falmouth entered the week 5-10, 16th in the region and on a three-game skid after falling at Greely, at home to Yarmouth and at Sacopee (6-3) last week. The Yachtsmen closed at Wells Wednesday.
Yarmouth's boys' lacrosse team saw its 30-game win streak come to an end Friday night with a stunning 10-7 setback at Cape Elizabeth. The Clippers dominated the first half and led 6-1 at the break, but barely saw the ball in the final 24 minutes and fell to 10-1.
"We needed a great game, we got a great game and we wound up on the wrong side of the score," Yarmouth coach Craig Curry said. "We'll learn from it and get better. We need to look at all the mistakes we made tonight and make sure the boys understand that everything that happened here is fixable."
The Clippers (who have first place in Eastern B wrapped up) closed at home versus Greely Tuesday, then will look to put together a third straight championship run.
Don't look now, but it isn't Yarmouth's traditional Eastern B rival North Yarmouth Academy but Freeport that's closing strong. The Falcons entered the week third in Eastern B with an 8-3 mark After a 17-4 home loss to Yarmouth last Wednesday (Thomas Dorsey and Hans Pope each scored twice), Freeport bounced back and rolled, 17-4, at Lake Region Friday. The Falcons finished at Falmouth Tuesday.
"It's looking like we might hold on to (the third spot), or at the least, drop down to fourth," said Freeport coach Geoff Arris. "It should be interesting on how it all plays out. I'm planning on making the tourney."
NYA was fighting for its playoff life when it went to York Wednesday in its finale. The Panthers lost, 15-8, at home to Waynflete last Tuesday and fell, 14-6, at Falmouth Friday to drop to 4-7 on the season (which put them sixth in Eastern B). Only the top five teams make the playoffs and NYA had to beat York to make sure it plays in the postseason once again.
In Western B, Falmouth has locked up homefield advantage for the playoffs. The Yachtsmen were 9-2 after wins last week at Greely (16-6) and at home over NYA. Against the Rangers, senior Mike Kane had three goals. The Panthers gave Falmouth fits for a half. NYA went up 2-0 early, the Yachtsmen scored five straight, but the visitors were still within two, 6-4, at halftime. Falmouth was only up 7-5 late in the third period when it scored twice in the waning moments (including one with .9 seconds remaining) to get some breathing room. The Yachtsmen outscored the Panthers 5-1 in the fourth to win, 14-6. Senior Dan Hanley, junior Nick Bachman and freshman Will Sipperly all had three goals. Falmouth closed at home versus Freeport Tuesday.
Greely is fighting for a playoff spot. The Rangers bounced back from their loss to the Yachtsmen with a 16-1 win at Lake Region last Wednesday (behind two goals and an assist from Sean Dinan and a goal from Jesse Leeman) to improve to 6-5, good for third in the region, with Waynflete and York hot on their heels. Only four teams qualify. Greely closed at Yarmouth Tuesday.
"I'm pretty confident it will stay how it is and we'll play Cape in the playoffs," said Rangers coach Casey Abbott.
On the girls' side, despite losing a pair of games this spring to rival Yarmouth and having to carry on the last third of the regular season without its coach, NYA will have homefield advantage for the regional playoffs.
The Panthers leapfrogged the Clippers last Tuesday after beating two-time defending Class B champion Waynflete for the second time (marking the first time NYA swept a two-game season series from Flyers), 8-7. The Panthers got four goals each from senior Courtney Dumont and junior Lily Wellenbach and took a page from Waynflete's book, winning draws, playing great defense and running out the clock at the end.
"It was terrifying at the end," said Panthers assistant coach Mike Gengras, who, along with Jenna McCabe and Lynn Sullivan, filled in for head coach Julia Sterling, who has been out with illness. "It was a little more frantic than we'd like. It always feels good to (run out the clock) against Waynflete after being on the other side so many times."
"This is big for us," said senior goalie Ashley Salerno (12 saves). "Beating one of the best teams in the state."
"(Beating Waynflete) gives us confidence and brings us together even more," Dumont said. "We know we have to beat Yarmouth before states. We love playing on our turf."
NYA finished the regular season 9-3 with a 12-6 home win over Greely Friday. The Panthers are idle until June 12 when they host Morse in the Eastern B semis.
Yarmouth had the inside track on homefield by virtue of beating NYA twice in the regular season, but the Clippers had to settle for second after also winding up 9-3 following last Wednesday's 15-10 home win over Greely. Senior Molly Curry and junior Danielle Torres each scored four times and added two assists. Yarmouth will host Gardiner in the Eastern B semis on June 12.
Freeport fell short of the postseason. The Falcons ended on a high note, however, winning 13-3 at Fryeburg in the finale Saturday. Junior Ally Fuehrer, sophomore Jess Hench and seniors Hannah Schuchert and Lucy Whitacre all had two goals. Senior Shradha Miller made six saves. Freeport wound up 4-8 and sixth in Eastern B, but only four teams qualify.
In Western B, Falmouth matched a program high for victories in a regular season, finishing 9-3 after closing with decisive wins over visiting Wells (19-8) and host Fryeburg (21-1). Against the Warriors, freshman Alex Bernier scored five goals, while junior Laura Fay and senior Caroline Clement had three each. In the finale, Clement, Fay, sophomore Megan Fortier and senior Emma Sipperly all scored three times. The Yachtsmen are second in the region and will host Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals June 12.
Greely did not make the playoffs this spring, winding up 1-11 (sixth in Western B, where only four teams qualified). The Rangers closed with losses at Yarmouth (despite five goals from senior Melanie Howland, three from junior Kelley Burrell, 14 saves by senior Hannah Dexter and 10 ground balls from senior Kylie Ross) and at NYA (as Ross had three goals and Dexter stopped 13 shots).
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com