The championship quests of the Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland softball teams were set to begin Thursday.
In Western Class A, the Red Storm, who went 15-1 and earned the top seed for the playoffs, won the SMAA title last weekend with a 1-0 triumph over Bonny Eagle and a 9-0 blanking of nemesis Biddeford.
In the Western A quarterfinals, Scarborough played host to either No. 8 Marshwood (8-8) or No. 9 Noble (6-10). On May 11, the host Red Storm downed the Knights 14-0 (in five innings). Two days later, they went to Marshwood and won 13-0 (also in five innings).
Scarborough lost 1-0 to Noble in the 2003 regional final. Its last meeting with Marshwood was a 2-0 preliminary round victory in 2002.
If the Red Storm took care of business in that round, they would host either No. 4 Bonny Eagle (12-4) or No. 5 Cheverus (12-4) in Saturday’s semifinals. Scarborough closed the regular year with a come-from-behind 5-4 home win over the Stags. In addition to the league playoff victory over the Scots, the Red Storm won 4-1 at Bonny Eagle in the season opener, April 24. Scarborough has no playoff history with either school.
South Portland took a 13-3 mark and the No. 3 seed into the playoffs. The Red Riots lost 4-0 to Biddeford in the SMAA semifinals, but won’t be phased by that result. In the quarterfinals, South Portland played host to either No. 6 Gorham (12-4) or No. 11 Deering (7-9). The Red Riots lost 4-1 at Gorham May 22, but beat visiting Deering 7-1 on May 11.
South Portland beat Gorham 3-0 in the 2006 quarterfinals. Its last playoff game with Deering was a wild 12-10 preliminary round triumph in 2002.
If the Red Riots were able to make it to the semifinals Saturday, they’ll likely have another matchup with No. 2 Biddeford (13-3). South Portland won 6-3 at Biddeford on June 3. The teams’ last playoff matchup came in the 2006 regional final, a 2-1 victory for the Tigers.
In Western B, Cape Elizabeth finished the year on a high note and wound up 15-1, good for the No. 2 seed behind Maranacook. The Capers hosted No. 7 Oak Hill (10-7) at home Thursday in the quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth doesn’t play Oak Hill in the regular season.
Cape Elizabeth’s last playoff meeting with Greely was in the 2007 Western B Final, a 6-2 triumph. The Capers haven’t battled Mountain Valley since the 1991 preliminary round (a 5-4 win).
If Cape Elizabeth makes it to the semifinals, it will almost certainly host No. 3 Fryeburg (15-1), its fierce rival over the past couple seasons. The Raiders eliminated the Capers from the playoffs last year in the regional final, but on May 25, Cape Elizabeth hosted and beat Fryeburg, 3-1.
Looking ahead, the Western B Final is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College. The Western A Final is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., also at St. Joe’s. The Class B state game is at St. Joseph’s, Saturday, June 20, at 11 a.m. The Class A state game will be contested at Cony High School in Augusta Saturday, June 20, starting at 12 p.m.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com.
Cape Elizabeth senior ace Trish Thibodeau is hoping to lead the Capers to their second Class B title in three seasons.