While it’s felt like anything but summer around here, May is soon to give way to June, meaning the 2011 spring sports season is nearing its conclusion.
The track postseason begins Saturday and tennis’ playoffs commence late next week (see story). Baseball, softball and lacrosse teams only have a couple more chances to either get into the playoff picture or jockey for optimal positioning.
It ought to be fun.
Here’s a glimpse at where local teams stand:
Scarborough and South Portland’s baseball teams are playoff-bound and both are still in the hunt for a high seed.
The Red Storm have won three straight, are 10-2 and were second to Westbrook in the Western Class A Heal Points standings as of Wednesday morning. Last week, Scarborough won at Marshwood (1-0) and defending regional champion Biddeford (7-4), avenging last year’s playoff loss.
Tuesday brought a huge home win over undefeated Westbrook, 5-4. Junior Ben Wessel continued his mastery with a one-hit shutout over the Hawks and junior Conor McCann’s double drove in the game’s lone run. Against the Tigers, junior Joe Cronin homered and had two RBIs. Senior Nick Murphy also drove in a pair and senior Ryan Mancini earned the victory. Senior Kevin Philbrick blasted a three-run homer and Mancini drove in the winning run after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded against the Blue Blazes.
The Red Storm had another huge home test versus Deering Thursday, visit Cheverus in another pivotal affair Saturday and close the regular season at Portland Tuesday.
South Portland was 10-4 and fourth in the region as of Wednesday after splitting four recent games, losses at Marshwood (5-3) and Westbrook (8-1) and victories over visiting Sanford (5-1) and host Thornton Academy (2-1). Sophomore Nick Whitten threw a three-hitter against the Redskins and junior Jordan Muller had a pair of hits. Against the Golden Trojans, senior ace Andrew Richards scattered five hits and senior Evan Indorf and junior Dominic Desjardins drove in runs in the sixth inning to key a rally.
The Red Riots hosted Gorham Thursday and close at Deering Tuesday.
In Western B, defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth is battling Greely and Yarmouth for the top spot in the Heals. The Capers dropped back-to-back games last week, 4-0 at Yarmouth and 8-3 to visiting Falmouth, but bounced back Monday with a 12-1 (six inning) win at Lake Region to improve to 10-3 (second to the Rangers in the standings). Freshman Chris Tinsman had two hits in the loss to the Clippers. Seniors Jack Barber, Cam Brown and Pat Tyler all had multiple hits versus the Yachtsmen. In the victory, sophomore Sam Kozlowski threw a no-hitter. Tyler had a three-run double. Brown finished with two hits, including a triple, and an RBI. Senior Kyle Danielson caught the no-hitter and also had two hits.
Cape Elizabeth was home with York Wednesday, plays at Wells Friday and closes with a key game versus Greely at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach Tuesday.
Softball’s regular season “Game of the Year” took place Tuesday in South Portland (please see story) between the host defending Class A state champion Red Riots and perennial championship contending Red Storm of Scarborough.
Both teams entered the game unbeaten after recent wins.
Scarborough, after a 10-day pause between games due to the weather, knocked off visiting McAuley, 7-1, Monday night. Sophomore Erin Giles hurled five strong innings and pounded an opposite field home run.
“It was good because they didn’t string hits together,” Giles said. “Our defense kept it to one hit per inning.”
South Portland was coming off wins last weekend over visiting Portland (14-2, in five innings) and at Biddeford (5-4, in an exhausting 12 innings). Freshman Olivia Indorf earned her first varsity win on the hill versus the Bulldogs, while senior Stephanie McDonough drove in four runs. At the Tigers, the Red Riots blew a 3-0 lead, rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh, then finally won it in the 12th on senior Alexis Bogdanovich’s hit. Senior Danielle DiBiase had three hits and senior Katlin Norton a pair, with two RBIs.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth remains in the thick of the playoff hunt. The Capers sandwiched losses at Yarmouth (3-1) and Lake Region (8-4) around an 8-7 home victory over Falmouth and are now 8-5, good for fifth in the fluid Heal Points standings. Sophomore Lexi Cantara had two hits versus the Clippers. Senior Ally Boyington had a bases loaded triple in the loss to the Lakers.
Cape Elizabeth blew an early 6-0 lead against the Yachtsmen, but won the game on senior Emily Donovan’s bases loaded walk.
Cape Elizabeth was home against Old Orchard Beach Wednesday, goes to Wells Friday and closes with a pivotal home game against Greely Wednesday of next week.
Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B state champion boys’ lacrosse team is writing a familiar script, apparently peaking as the season winds down.
Last Wednesday, just five days after a surprising loss at Lewiston, the Capers bounced back with a stirring 8-7 overtime win over visiting rival Falmouth, a team which beat them 12-4 back on April 15 in Falmouth. Cape Elizabeth led almost the whole way, but the Yachtsmen tied the score on a goal with just two seconds remaining and it was on to overtime where senior Wilson Laprade won it.
“This means so much,” said Laprade, who delivered his first career overtime winner. “There was so much anticipation and energy going into the game.”
Senior Timmy Takach had three goals and senior goalie Jack Roos stole the show with 21 saves.
“Those guys definitely are the team to beat right now,” Roos said of Falmouth. “We really had to bring a certain intensity tonight. We did and it was worth it. They’re a really good team. They scored with two seconds left. Not many teams can do that in a high-pressure environment. It was tough and it hurt to give that up, but we still had overtime to get it done and we did. We had a little trouble getting it going in overtime, then we put one in.”
“It was a good game,” Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond added. “Both teams played well at times. Both teams played not well at times. It is what you expect this time of year. It was definitely good to come out on top, especially after being on top most of the game. They tied it up and the kids could have easily been down about that, but they got past it quickly and did a great job in overtime.”
The Capers improved to 7-2 and second behind Falmouth in the Western B Heals after a 15-2 win at North Yarmouth Academy Friday. Senior Teddy Smith had four goals, junior Tim Lavallee three. Cape Elizabeth was at York Wednesday, plays at Yarmouth Friday and finishes at home versus Waynflete Tuesday.
“We’ll keep building on this success,” said Roos. “The most important thing is to keep building.”
In Western A, defending state champion Scarborough is in a battle with Kennebunk for the top seed. The Red Storm improved to 9-1 after recent decisive victories over visiting Windham (19-1) and host Gorham (12-1). Against the Eagles, sophomore John Wheeler scored five goals, senior Tim Smith four and sophomore goalie David Pearson had 10 saves. Wheeler scored five times against the Rams. Scarborough played at Massabesic Wednesday and closes with a state final game rematch versus visiting Portland Wednesday of next week.
South Portland was 6-4 and fourth in Western A at press time, which would mean the Red Riots will earn one home playoff game. South Portland edged visiting Marshwood, 9-8, Saturday behind senior Robert Hannigan’s game-winner in the final minute and four goals from senior Harrison Keithly. The Red Riots were home with Bonny Eagle Wednesday and get a visit from Kennebunk in a pivotal contest next Wednesday to bring the curtain down on the regular season.
Scarborough’s defending Class A champion girls’ lacrosse team is also rounding into title form yet again. The Red Storm extended their win streak to six after victories over host Gorham (13-9) and visiting Marshwood (7-5).
Against the high-powered Rams, junior Kelsey Howard scored six times, sophomore Maggie Smith four and classmate Mary Scott three and Scarborough held Gorham’s senior standout Mia Rapolla to four goals. Howard and Smith both had two goals as the Red Storm held off the Hawks to improve to 9-1 (now first in the Heals). Scarborough hosted Kennebunk in a pivotal showdown Thursday and closes at Westbrook Tuesday.
South Portland is fourth in Western A with an 8-1 mark after downing host Deering, 12-9, Monday, behind three goals each from seniors Nikki LaPlante and Becca Roberts and junior Anh Nguyen. The Red Riots were home against Portland Thursday, play at Windham Saturday and close at Bonny Eagle Tuesday.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is battling Greely for the No. 3 seed in Western B. The Capers own a three-game win streak and are 7-3 and third after defeating host York (15-2) and Fryeburg (15-5) and visiting Wells (12-10).
In the win over the Wildcats, senior Anna Darling and sophomore Talley Perkins both had four goals, while junior goalie Elin Sonesson stopped 15 shots. Against the Raiders, Perskins scored three times, junior Bella Robinson twice. Darling and Perkins each had three goals in the win over the Warriors. Sonesson made 10 saves.
The Capers host NYA Friday and finish at home versus Greely Tuesday.
South Portland sophomore Nick Whitten delivers a pitch during Saturday’s 5-1 home win over Sanford.
South Portland senior Nikki LaPlante battles Deering junior Katie Donlan for posession during the Red Riots’ 12-9 road win Monday night.