Regular season winds down in Forecaster Country

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(Ed. Note: For the full Greely-Yarmouth baseball, Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse and Yarmouth-Falmouth and Yarmouth-NYA girls’ lacrosse game stories, visit theforecaster.net)

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 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 a fun week.

Here’s a glimpse at where local teams stand:

Baseball

Greely’s baseball team began the week atop the Western B Heals at 11-1 after a 5-4 home victory over Yarmouth and mercy rule wins over visiting Wells (10-0, in six innings) and Poland (11-1, in five) last week. The Rangers played against Falmouth Tuesday (in Old Orchard Beach), visited Traip Wednesday, go to Yarmouth Friday and close the regular season Tuesday at Cape Elizabeth.

Yarmouth bounced back from its loss to Greely with a 4-0 home win over Cape Elizabeth, a 3-1 (eight inning) triumph at Freeport and an 8-4 victory at Poland to improve to 11-2 (third in the region). The Clippers hosted Falmouth Wednesday, welcomes Greely Friday and closes at home versus North Yarmouth Academy Wednesday of next week.

Falmouth has moved up to sixth with a 6-5 mark after victories at Fryeburg (5-1) and Cape Elizabeth (8-3). The Yachtsmen faced Greely Tuesday, visited Yarmouth Wednesday, host Sacopee Friday, Fryeburg Monday and Wells Wednesday of next week as they look to continue to climb the ladder.

Freeport’s playoff hopes are still alive. The Falcons sandwiched wins over host Sacopee (13-1, in five innings) and York (17-13) around a 3-1 home loss to Yarmouth, in eight innings, and are 4-9 and 15th in the Heals. Freeport hosted Wells Wednesday, goes to Old Orchard Beach Friday and closes at home versus Traip next Wednesday. Two or three wins could get the Falcons into the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

In Western C, NYA is playoff-bound. The Panthers rolled, 15-4, at Old Orchard Beach last Thursday, then split a doubleheader at Waynflete, losing, 3-2, and winning, 14-8, to improve to 8-3 (sixth in the Heals). NYA was at Richmond Wednesday, hosts Buckfield Friday and Waynflete Saturday, then finishes at Yarmouth Wednesday of next week.

Softball

Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth’s softball teams are all jockeying for playoff positioning in the season’s final days.

The Clippers were 12-2 and second to three-time defending regional champion Fryeburg in the Western B Heals, as of Tuesday. Yarmouth held off visiting Cape Elizabeth, 3-1, last Wednesday, dominated host Freeport (14-1, in five innings) Friday, then extended its win streak to four Monday with a 12-2 victory at Poland. The Clippers hosted Falmouth Wednesday and close at Greely Thursday.

The Yachtsmen took a 7-4 mark and the No. 6 seed into Tuesday’s home game with Greely. Falmouth lost twice last week, 5-0, at Fryeburg and 8-7, at Cape Elizabeth. The Yachtsmen were at Yarmouth Wednesday, welcome Sacopee Friday, Fryeburg Monday and Wells Wednesday of next week.

Greely snapped a four-game losing streak last week with wins over visiting Wells (5-1) and Poland (14-3) and was 7-5 and clinging to the ninth and final playoff spot in Western B entering Tuesday’s game at Falmouth. The Rangers visited Traip Wednesday, host Yarmouth Thursday and close at Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

Freeport snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-3 win at York Monday. Last week, the Falcons lost to host Sacopee (19-0, in five innings) and visiting Yarmouth (14-1, in five). Freeport (15th in the Heals) hopes to make a last-ditch playoff push. The Falcons were home against Wells Wednesday, visit Old Orchard Beach Friday and close at home versus Traip next Wednesday.

In Western C, NYA dropped to 0-10 last Thursday after a 17-5 loss at Old Orchard Beach. The Panthers (18th in the region) went to Richmond Wednesday and finish the season Friday at home versus Buckfield.

Boys’ lacrosse

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team is unbeaten no more, but the Yachtsmen remain the top squad in Western Class B. Last Wednesday, Falmouth dug a 5-1 hole at defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth, rallied to tie in scintillating fashion when senior Nick Bachman scored with two seconds left, but ultimately lost, 8-7, in overtime to the Capers.

“The great thing is we learned about what teams will do against us and we made some nice adjustments,” said Yachtsmen coach Mike LeBel. “We made some mistakes in the first half, but we came back. I think we’ll still get homefield advantage for the playoffs. (This loss is) not a bad thing. We’ll get the kids focused. It’s a great learning experience. We know what to work on now and we’ll fix it.”

Friday, the Yachtsmen bounced back with a 17-0 home win over Yarmouth. Falmouth (first in the Heals) was home against Greely Wednesday, visits NYA Friday and finishes the regular season at Freeport Tuesday.

Greely has won six straight and is 7-3 and fourth in Western B after recent decisive wins over visiting Freeport (15-6), host Lincoln Academy (19-1) and visiting Lake Region (15-2). The Rangers were at Falmouth Wednesday and host Yarmouth in the finale Wednesday of next week.

In Eastern B, NYA stole the show last week, as it snapped a 10-year drought at Yarmouth with a stunning 9-2 victory, the Panthers first ever on the Clippers’ turf field. Junior Forrest Milburn had three goals and sophomore T.J. Daigler added two with one assist. Freshman goalie Weston Nolan made 13 saves.

“Let’s put it this way, I wish I had a case of orange balls because everyone deserved a game ball,” said NYA coach Chris Carpentier. “The defense played very solid with everyone stepping up. Being healthy was a good start. We got that huge monkey off our back.”

The Panthers fell to 4-5 Friday with a 15-2 home loss to Cape Elizabeth. NYA (fourth in the Eastern B Heals) was at Waynflete Wednesday, hosts Falmouth Friday and closes at home versus York Wednesday of next week.

Yarmouth has dropped three of four and is 5-4 and second behind St. Dom’s in Eastern B after losing to NYA (9-2) and Falmouth (17-0) last week. The Clippers hoped to get back on track when they hosted Freeport Wednesday. After welcoming Cape Elizabeth Friday, Yarmouth closes at Greely Wednesday of next week.

After a 15-6 loss at Greely last Wednesday, Freeport began the week 5-4 and eighth in Eastern B, but only six teams qualify for the playoffs, so the Falcons still need a big win. Freeport was at Yarmouth Wednesday, visits Lake Region Friday and closes at home versus Falmouth Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse

Yarmouth’s girls’ team beat visiting Falmouth and NYA in close games last week to improve to 8-1 (first in the Eastern B Heals). Against the Yachtsmen, the Clippers had to rally from a first half deficit and held on for dear life down the stretch for a 13-12 triumph. Seniors Becca Bell and Natalie Salmon both scored four times.

“It was quite a game,” Salmon said. “I think we got a little cocky at first, but we definitely pulled through at the end. We did better in the second half. We knew (Falmouth would) come out hard against us. They have some really strong attackers who drive to goal.”

“It wasn’t our prettiest game and we came out a little more confident than we should have,” Bell said. “We pulled through in the second half. That seems to be our strength this season. Falmouth’s a very good, talented and deep team. Deeper than we expected. It was a good challenge.”

Against the Panthers, in the teams’ second of a likely three meetings, Yarmouth broke a 5-5 tie on a free position goal from senior Devin Simsarian and went on to an 8-5 triumph.

“It was pretty fun,” said Simsarian. “I think we all played really well. We clicked this game. Other girls have been stepping up and it’s been great.”

“We’re evenly matched,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt. “They have injuries and we have injuries. It was a good game. It could have been anyone’s game. Our girls showed composure tonight. We could have fallen apart when they came back, but we didn’t. It shows it took our whole team to beat them.”

The Clippers were at Falmouth Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), play at Greely Friday and close the regular season with a possible state final preview Wednesday of next week versus Waynflete.

The defending Class B champion Panthers fell to 4-5 with the loss, but remain second in the Heals.

“The girls are trying to keep it together,” said NYA coach Julia Sterling. “They’ve got to feel the flow and they’re not. I know our girls can play better. We’re not the unit we were last year, but we’re still working on it. It takes the whole season to pull it all together.”

NYA hosted Waynflete Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Cape Elizabeth Friday and finish at home versus Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

“There’s one team we’ll have to beat,” Sterling said, alluding to a potential regional final showdown with Yarmouth. “We have to want it. The next one is the big one. We hope to get better and better by the tournament.”

Freeport was a 14-11 winner over Wells, couldn’t hold a big lead in a 7-6 loss at Greely, then fell at Falmouth, 17-7, last week. Against the Warriors, Jess Hench erupted for seven goals. Molly Lane made eight clutch saves. Against the Yachtsmen, Meredith Broderick, Lauren Easler and Eli Pier all had two goals and Lane made 11 saves. Freeport (5-5 and fifth in Eastern B, where just four teams make the playoffs) hosted York Tuesday and finishes at Wells Tuesday of next week.

In Western B, Falmouth appears to have a stranglehold on the No. 2 spot behind Waynflete. Last week, the Yachtsmen suffered difficult losses at Yarmouth (13-12) and at home to the Flyers (12-8), but could take encouragement from playing those traditional powers closer than they ever had.

“(Being within one goal against Yarmouth is) a good sign,” said Falmouth coach Robin Haley. “We’re hopefully moving up.”

Saturday, Falmouth improved to 6-4 with a 17-7 home win over Freeport. Molly Ryan had five goals, while Laura Fay and Sam Smithwick both added three.The Yachtsmen hosted Yarmouth Wednesday and close at NYA Tuesday of next week.

Greely continues to make great strides a year after finishing 1-11 and out of postseason consideration. The Rangers improved to 5-4 and fourth in Western B last week with a 7-6 home win over Freeport and a 14-11 triumph at Wells. In the come-from-behind win over the Falcons, Meg Finlay had two goals and an assist, while Kelly Burrell and Julia Mitiguy both scored once and assisted on a goal. Against the Warriors, . Greely was at Fryeburg Tuesday, hosts Yarmouth Friday and closes at Cape Elizabeth next Tuesday in a game that will have big playoff and Heal Points implications.

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

Sidebar Elements


NYA senior goalie Frances Leslie comes out of the goal, only to be swarmed by Yarmouth senior Lindsey Purpura (6) and sophomore Olivia Conrad (12) during the Clippers’ 8-5 win over the Panthers last week.

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001.
Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net.
I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.