Spring season capped great sports year

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After a most fulfilling fall and winter, the spring sports season was truly memorable.

While rain, as usual, was plentiful, the season was completed on schedule and had an abundance of highlights.

Scarborough’s baseball team won an epic regional final over defending state champion Cheverus, but fell in the state game. Cape Elizabeth made a stunning run from the No. 9 seed to extra innings in the Western B Final. South Portland was also a playoff team.

South Portland’s softball team upset Scarborough in the regional final to end the Red Storm’s reign, but lost in the state game to Cony. Cape Elizabeth also qualified for the postseason.

Boys’ lacrosse saw Scarborough win a third successive Class A championship. Cape Elizabeth fell a goal shy of the state game. South Portland also reached the playoffs.

The Scarborough girls also three-peated. Cape Elizabeth had its best season in a decade before suffering a gutwrenching regional final defeat. South Portland once again produced a very competitive squad.

The outdoor track and field state meet produced an abundance of drama.

Virtually every local tennis team made it to the postseason.

While we’re all glad summer’s here, let’s take one final look back at the moments and champions that made the spring of 2012 one to remember.

Spring 2012 state champions

Scarborough Red Storm boys’ lacrosse (Class A)
Scarborough Red Storm girls’ lacrosse (Class A)
Scarborough Red Storm girls’ outdoor track (Class A)

Spring 2012 regional champions

Scarborough baseball (Western A)
South Portland softball (Western A)

Spring 2012 individual state champions

Outdoor track

Nicole Kirk, Scarborough, girls’ 100 (Class A)
Nicole Kirk, Scarborough, girls’ 200 (Class A)
Kevin Manning, Scarborough, boys’ pole vault (Class A)


Michael’s Top 5 stories:

5) Scarborough vaults to another track title

The Scarborough girls’ outdoor track and field team won its fifth Class A state championship in seven years, but this one was unique. Despite more excellence from the likes of two-event champion Nicole Kirk, the Red Storm trailed Edward Little when action was suspended June 2 and with one event remaining, the pole vault, its hopes were uncertain. Scarborough was at its best in that event, however, as Catherine Bailey and Andrea Tolman did better than they were seeded and the Red Storm leapfrogged Edward Little to finish first.

4) SP’s turn for an upset

It’s become evident that being the top seed for the Western Class A softball tournament is more a curse than a blessing. In 2010, the top-ranked Red Storm of Scarborough was upset in the regional final by South Portland. Last spring, the Red Riots were the undefeated, No. 1 seed, but the Red Storm returned the favor and ended South Portland’s season a round earlier than expected. This year, Scarborough was unbeaten and appeared unbeatable when the playoffs began, but the Red Riots, which started the year 1-2, were sizzling and sure enough, the lower seed once again had the last laugh. South Portland was down to its final six outs when it erupted for five runs in the sixth and junior ace Erin Bogdanovich slammed the door from there as the Red Riots prevailed, 5-1. South Portland weren’t able to cap its fairy tale run with a championship, however, losing, 2-0, to Cony in the state final.

3) Two threes for Scarborough

Both Scarborough lacrosse teams won Class A state titles. Again. For the third year in a row to be precise. The boys were clearly the team to beat all spring and only stumbled once, by a goal, to Class B power Yarmouth. The Red Storm was clinical in its tournament run and capped the season with a 9-4 victory over Cheverus in the state game. The girls had more challenges, but also managed to go 11-1, losing only to powerhouse Cape Elizabeth. Some expected Scarborough to be tested in the regional playoffs, but it hit another gear, dominating Bonny Eagle, Kennebunk and Marshwood. The state final was tougher, but the Red Storm’s senior core wouldn’t be denied and earned more hardware with an 11-9 triumph.

2) A regional final for the ages

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team produced its best record in a decade and this group was likely the finest the program had every produced. The regular season saw the Capers roll over all 12 foes, winning by an average margin of 15-7. Cape Elizabeth had no trouble with Greely in the Western B semifinals, winning, 18-8, and set up a home date with the state’s gold standard, Waynflete, in the regional final June 13. The Capers weren’t remotely fazed by the green and white, took an early lead and extended it to 8-4 in the second half. Then, Cape Elizabeth went cold offensively and the Flyers slowly rallied. With just over two minutes to go, Waynflete tied the score and the game went to overtime. The Capers managed to rise off the deck and scored twice in the six-minute OT, but the Flyers did the same and it was on to “sudden victory” overtime. There, Cape Elizabeth got a shot on goal, but couldn’t finish and Waynflete then broke its heart, taking the lead for the first time on the goal which ended the game, 11-10, and the Capers’ season at 13-1.

1) Cronin’s homer in the gloamin’

The Western Class A baseball final between defending state champion Cheverus and Scarborough June 12 at St. Joseph’s College won’t soon be forgotten. The Red Storm had a terrific 14-2 regular season and blanked Thornton Academy and Windham in the playoffs to reach the regional final. The game began as a pitcher’s duel between Scarborough’s Joe Cronin and Cheverus’ Louie DiStasio and when the Red Storm trailed 2-0 early, it appeared in trouble. Scarborough came back to tie, then fell behind again, 3-2. In the bottom of the sixth, the Red Storm drew even on a two-out error, then Nick Bagley crushed a monumental two-run home run to leftfield to give Scarborough a 5-3 lead. On the verge of a first ever Class A state final appearance, Cronin appeared to slam the door on an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two down, but it was ruled a ball and the Stags managed to rally and tie the game. That only extended the drama and with one on and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Cronin brought the curtain down with a walkoff homer to left-center. Scarborough 7 Cheverus 5. The Red Storm couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead and lost, 6-3, to Messalonskee in the state final, but the regional final victory will long be hailed.

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

Sidebar Elements

In the most dramatic moments of this or any other spring, Scarborough senior Joe Cronin leaps on to home plate to culminate the Red Storm’s thrilling walkoff regional final win over defending state champion Cheverus June 12.

South Portland’s softball team celebrated its upset win over Scarborough in the Western A Final June 12. The Red Riots lost to Cony in the state game four days later.

Cape Elizabeth’s Christina Kouros continued to impress and inspire this spring on the track.

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