Special spring sports season won't be forgotten-Southern edition

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Cape Elizabeth’s Darcy Cochran stole the show at the Class B state outdoor track meet.

Chloe Griffin’s dominant right arm led Scarborough’s softball team to another Class A state championship.

Cooper Mehlhorn and his South Portland boys’ lacrosse teammates produced a winning season and got to the Class A South semifinals.

The spring of 2018 will be remembered for high drama, more hardware and weather that might not have been ideal, but certainly better than the year before.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team produced the biggest victory, as the Capers won a state title for the first time since 1997. Cape Elizabeth held off Greely by a goal in the Class B state semifinals, then shocked Yarmouth in the state final, when Emily Healy scored in overtime. South Portland also made the playoffs and got to the Class A South semifinals before losing to top-ranked Kennebunk.

On the boys’ side, Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B champion, got to the regional final in its first season in Class A South, but lost to Thornton Academy. The Golden Trojans had previously defeated South Portland in the semifinals.

On the diamond, Scarborough’s softball team continues to have no peer. The Red Storm went 16-0 in the regular season for the fifth year in a row, extended their regular season win streak to 89 games and after edging Thornton Academy in extra innings in the regional final, Scarborough went back-to-back and earned a championship in an even-numbered year for the first time, when it mercy ruled Oxford Hills in the Class A state final. South Portland lost to Portland in the Class A South preliminary round, while Cape Elizabeth was eliminated by Wells in the Class B South quarterfinals.

Baseball saw South Portland win its last 11 regular season games to earn the top seed in Class A South, but in the quarterfinals, the Red Riots were upset by Falmouth. In Class B South, after an eventful regular season which featured many memorable games, Cape Elizabeth bounced back from allowing five runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat Yarmouth in extras in the quarterfinals. The Capers weren’t able to get the best of another rival, Greely, however, as they lost in the semifinals.

Outdoor track didn’t produce a team champion this year, but some individuals came up big.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ tennis team got to the Class B South Final before losing to Lincoln Academy. Scarborough lost to eventual champion Falmouth in the Class A South semifinals. South Portland was eliminated by Portland in the preliminary round.

The Cape Elizabeth boys fell in the regional final as well, to Freeport. South Portland made the playoffs as well and lost to Deering in the Class A South preliminary round.

We’re all eager to get on to summer, but before we do, here’s one last look back at the champions and best moments of the spring:

Southern edition spring state champions

Team

Cape Elizabeth Capers girls’ lacrosse, Class B
Scarborough Red Storm softball, Class A

Individual

Outdoor track

Darcy Cochran, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 100 hurdles
Darcy Cochran, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ 300 hurdles
Emily Labbe, Scarborough, Class A girls’ 100 hurdles

Michael’s top five moments/stories

5)  Cape boys overcome slow start

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team moved up to Class A this spring and the Capers did not get off to a good start, losing to Yarmouth, Thornton Academy and Falmouth to begin 2-3. But Cape Elizabeth didn’t fold, instead coming to life to win its final seven games to earn the second seed in Class A South. A semifinal round victory over Gorham followed before the Capers finally met their match in a regional final round setback to eventual state champion Thornton Academy.

4) SP baseball earns top seed

In a year without a clear favorite in Class A South baseball, South Portland stepped into the void and emerged as the best squad in the regular season. After a 3-2 start, the Red Riots wouldn’t lose again, as they closed on an 11-game surge. As the number one seed in the region, South Portland entertained title dreams, but was upset by two-time defending regional champion Falmouth in the Class A South quarterfinals.

3) Cape track standout turns heads 

Cape Elizabeth’s Darcy Cochran won the Class B girls’ 100 hurdles at the 2017 state meet and this year, she was even better, repeating in that event and winning the 300 hurdles as well. Cochran was also second in the 200 and fifth in the 100 to account for 31 of the Capers’ 41 points (they came in seventh as a team). Cochran then closed her season by coming in third in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the New England championship meet.

2) Scarborough softball makes history

Scarborough’s softball team has long been the gold standard in the sport, but the Red Storm had two voids on their resume entering 2018, having never gone back-to-back as champions and having never celebrated a title in an even-numbered year. After yet another perfect regular season, top seed and playoff wins over Portland, Massabesic and Thornton Academy (on Chloe Griffin’s ninth inning single), Scarborough took care of those lone lingering issues, pulling away late to down Oxford Hills, 12-0, in six-innings, in the state final, to win its second straight championship and seventh overall.

1) Cape girls shock the world

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team was competitive during the regular season, but five losses in 12 games made many think the Capers weren’t championship-caliber. Guess again. As the second seed in the Class B playoffs, Cape Elizabeth roared to life in the second half to beat York in the quarterfinals, held off a furious Greely rally to win in the semifinals, then, as a decided underdog in the state final, the Capers led Yarmouth much of the way, fell behind by a goal, tied it in the final minute of regulation on Emily Healy’s free position goal, then won an improbable and glorious championship on Healy’s overtime tally. It was Cape Elizabeth’s first crown since 1997. It won’t be 21 years until the next one.

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

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