Spring sports season hits midway point

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The spring sports season is known for its brevity and even though it feels like it just started, the regular season is rapidly dwindling.

Most teams have already played at least half of their schedule and it’s time to start thinking about qualifying for the postseason and playoff positioning.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s transpired in recent days and what’s to come:

Baseball-Bulldogs in win column

Portland’s young baseball team has struggled much of 2012, dropping its first five games, capped by a 1-0 loss at Biddeford Wednesday, but victories at Gorham Thursday (6-1) and at home over Kennebunk Saturday (2-0) have gotten the Bulldogs back on track. Nate Smart got the victory and struck out 10 against Gorham. Eddie Apon, Caleb Fraser, Nick Volger and Chip Webber all had two hits. Fraser dominated on the mound versus Kennebunk, allowing four hits while fanning 11. Kyle Reichert tripled, scored and had an RBI. Portland (2-5) began the week 11th in the Western Class A Heal Points standings (11 teams make the playoffs in the region). The Bulldogs were at Massabesic Tuesday, go to defending Class A champion Cheverus Thursday and host Windham Monday.

Cheverus bounced back from its lone loss with three straight wins, including a 9-1 home triumph over Massabesic and a 2-1 victory at Thornton Academy last week. The Stags got a win from Harry Ridge, a home run from Chris Tinsman and a pair of RBI from Drew Ferrick against the Mustangs. Louie DiStasio put on a show versus the Golden Trojans, earning the win with a one-hitter. He had six strikeouts. DiStasio also had three hits and scored both runs. Ferrick had both RBI. Cheverus (5-1 and second to Marshwood in Western A) was at Kennebunk Tuesday, hosts Portland Thursday, has a showdown at Scarborough Saturday and returns home next Tuesday to face Biddeford.

Deering entered the week on a five-game skid. Last week, the Rams fell at Windham (3-2, in 10 innings) and at home to Noble (7-2). Nick DiBiase was the hard-luck loser against the Eagles. Luke Boyle had an RBI double. In the loss to the Knights, Kenny Sweet had a pair of hits. Deering (1-5 and 13th in the Heals) was at Sanford Tuesday, visits Bonny Eagle in a makeup game Wednesday, welcomes Biddeford Thursday and go to Marshwood Tuesday of next week.

In Western C, Waynflete began the week 3-2 and ninth in the standings. Last week, the Flyers fell at Old Orchard Beach, 9-3, then bounced back with a 5-2 home victory over Lake Region. Peter Stein was a repeat hitter against the Seagulls. Against the Lakers, Nik Morrill earned the win, while Luke Jeton had a clutch two-run single. Waynflete hosted Sacopee Monday and went to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday. After a home game with Old Orchard Beach Wednesday, the Flyers host Traip Monday of next week.

Softball-Portland ends skid

Portland’s softball team entered last Wednesday’s game at Deering on a 29-game losing streak. The 29th was a 26-2 (four inning) home loss to Massabesic Monday. The Bulldogs then went out and earned their first victory since May 10, 2010, downing the Rams, 9-4, behind a huge game from Leanne Reichert (four hits, including a home run, three RBI and three runs scored). Cassandra Kennie earned the victory after allowing just five hits. Portland (1-5 and 15th in the Western A Heals) went to Kennebunk Monday, hosted McAuley Tuesday, welcomes Marshwood Wednesday, goes to Cheverus Friday and is home with Windham Monday of next week.

The loss to Portland dropped Deering to 0-6 (17th in Western A). The Rams also fell at Biddeford last week, 9-1. Nicole Mason had three hits and scored a pair of runs in the loss to the Bulldogs. Deering hosted Gorham Monday, went to South Portland Tuesday, visits Bonny Eagle Wednesday, plays host to defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday and travels to Thornton Academy Monday of next week.

Cheverus lost, 3-1, at home to Marshwood last Monday to drop to 1-5 (14th in the Heals). Brittany Bell excelled on the mound with a three-hitter, but the Stags couldn’t generate enough offense to earn her a win. Cheverus was home with Westbrook Monday and played at Windham Tuesday. After visiting Biddeford Wednesday and hosting Portland Friday, the Stags go to South Portland Monday of next week.

McAuley is the lone local team that would make the playoffs if they began today. The Lions suffered a 10-7 loss at Westbrook last Monday, but bounced back to double up visiting Biddeford, 6-3, Wednesday to even their record at 3-3 (ninth in Western A). In the loss, Shelby Bryant had four hits, Megan Bailey three and Taylor Whaley and Sam Libby two apiece. Against the Tigers, Libby and Molly Mack both had a pair of hits and two runs scored. Libby also earned the victory, while Whaley had a steal of home. McAuley was home with South Portland in a playoff rematch Monday and went to Portland Tuesday. After playing at Gorham Wednesday, the Lions welcome Bonny Eagle Friday and play at Scarborough Monday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse-Flyers earn first ‘W’

Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team has lost twice in overtime this spring, including a 12-11 decision at York last Monday (Henry Cleaves had four goals, Zander Majercik three). The Flyers hung tough with powerhouse visiting Cape Elizabeth for three quarters last Wednesday, trailing just 8-5, but the Capers pulled away for a 15-5 win (despite two goals from Cleaves).

Saturday, everything came together for Waynflete as it downed visiting Freeport, 9-1, behind four goals and two assists from Chris Burke. Cleaves added a pair. The Flyers scored five man-up goals, had a 39-12 edge in shots on goal and a 68-46 advantage in ground balls (Harry Baker-Connick had a dozen, Burke grabbed nine and Josh Espy had eight).

“We’ve had some bad breaks, so it’s nice to finally get one,” said Burke. “Playing man-up has actually been one of our weaknesses. We’ve talked about simplifying things. It was good to get those today. We needed those. A lot of these games are must-wins for us. We’ve shown flashes of what we can do. All our games are very competitive. We’re looking to play hard and hope to end up on top.”

“We got one, finally,” added longtime Waynflete coach Bob Johnson. “We’ve had a lot of injuries. We’ve had to patch things together. A lot of young kids played really well today. Chris is really relaxing and enjoying it and is playing well. It’s fun to see him relax. He can play virtually every position. He wins faceoffs and gets ground balls.”

The Flyers (1-4 and sixth in the Western B Heals) go to Fryeburg Wednesday and have a big home test with Western A contender Thornton Academy Saturday.

“We have some big games coming up,” said Johnson.

In Eastern A, Deering continues to impress. The Rams did fall to 4-2 last Wednesday, but took two-time defending Class A champion Scarborough to the wire in a 7-6 loss (please see theforecaster.net for full game story, with photos and a box score). Anthony Verville scored twice, Matt Flaherty had a goal, four assists and 14 ground balls and Karl Rickett won 11 of 15 faceoffs while collecting seven ground balls, but Deering couldn’t convert some opportunities at the end of the game.

“It was good to play a good game against the two-time defending Class A champs,” first-year Rams coach Jon Dubois said. “They’re the team you circle on the schedule. We’re happy how we played. I thought we had a good scout on them. I thought we had a good matchup. Our defense is pretty solid and their offense is pretty solid. It was a battle of the titans we looked forward to.”

Deering (second to Brunswick in the Eastern A Heals) hosts Windham Wednesday and goes to defending Class B state champion Falmouth Saturday.

“We can use this as motivation going forward,” said Dubois. “There’s nothing to hang our heads at 4-2. We wanted to get this one. It would have helped us tremendously with the Heals, but the guys will feed off it. Coming out here and running with the best team in Class A is tremendous for us. We want to play with Falmouth. We won’t look past Windham, but we’ll start tuning up for Falmouth. It’s another opportunity for Deering to come out and show we’re on the map for lacrosse. Getting through this schedule will give us a great opportunity to be successful in the playoffs. Hopefully, we’ll see (Scarborough) one more time. That’s our team goal. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Cheverus improved to 5-1 (third in Eastern A) after a 12-8 victory at Massabesic last Wednesday. Thomas Lawton had five goals, Jack Sutton three. The Stags host Westbrook Wednesday, then go to powerhouse Cape Elizabeth Friday.

Portland fell to 2-5 (seventh in the region) after losses last week to visiting Falmouth (13-4), host Kennebunk (7-6) and visiting Scarborough (8-2). Ryan Jurgelevich stopped 17 shots against the Yachtsmen. Zack Lane and Max Pierter had goals against the Red Storm. The Bulldogs are at Noble Wednesday and visit Yarmouth Saturday.

Girls’ lacrosse-Stags surging

While Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team continues to steal headlines (please see story), Cheverus is pushing perennial power Brunswick for the top spot in the Eastern Class A Heals.

The Stags broke open a close game and went on to a 10-3 victory over Portland last Wednesday (in a game played on Deering High’s turf due to poor weather). Meredith Willard had four goals, while Alex Logan and Sadie Lyons added two apiece. Cheverus then improved to 4-1 with a 15-10 win at Deering, behind five goals apiece from Logan and Elyse Caiazzo and three from Lyons. The Stags were at Marshwood Monday, then run the gauntlet, hosting two-time defending Class A state champion Scarborough Wednesday and going to undefeated powerhouse Waynflete Saturday.

Portland bounced back from its loss to Cheverus with an 8-7 overtime victory at Windham (Drew Barry had three goals and Raechel Allen delivered the winner in OT). The Bulldogs (3-2 and eighth in Eastern A) hosted Bonny Eagle Monday, visit Thornton Academy Thursday, go to McAuley Saturday and host Deering Monday of next week.

The Rams fell to 1-4 and 11th in the region after their loss to Cheverus (Maura Densmore led the charge with four goals and Veronica Mitchell had three). Deering was home with Biddeford Monday, visits Noble Thursday, is home with Sanford Saturday and plays at Portland next Monday.

McAuley fell to 1-3 (10th in Eastern A) after last Monday’s 16-12 home loss to Massabesic (Sadie DiPierro had six goals). The Lions were home with Windham Tuesday, welcome Portland Saturday and go to South Portland Tuesday of next week.

Track

City girls’ outdoor track teams (along with South Portland) congregated at Cheverus last Monday. The Stags were second to the Red Riots. Deering came in third, McAuley fourth and Portland fifth. Deering’s Rashad Zagon won both the 100 hurdles (17.7 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (51.8), along with the high jump (5 feet). Cheverus’ Katie Shapiro also won multiple events, taking the shot put (33 feet, 10 inches) and discus (120-10).

Team results for the boys’ meet weren’t available. Deering’s Tony Sen (110 hurdles, 15.5; and long jump, 19-9) and Matt Kimball (100, 11.7; and 200, 23.7) both won multiple events.

Waynflete’s scheduled home meet versus Greely, NYA and Traip was canceled due to poor weather. The Flyers join Poland and Traip at Yarmouth Friday.

Tennis

A compelling battle of girls’ tennis unbeatens is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon when Cheverus goes to McAuley. The Stags entered the week 6-0 and first in the Western Class A Heals after recent wins over Massabesic (5-0), Portland (3-2) and Deering (5-0). The Lions were 4-0 and third after last Wednesday’s 5-0 victory at Westbrook. Portland dropped to 4-1 and fourth after its loss to the Stags. The Bulldogs were at reigning regional champion Scarborough Monday. Deering started the week 0-6 and 15th in Western A. In Western C, defending state champion Waynflete improved to 2-3 (seventh in the Heals) with wins last week over Lake Region (4-1) and Cape Elizabeth (3-2).

On the boys’ side, Deering began the week 5-0 and first in Western A after recent wins over Gorham (3-2) and Thornton Academy (5-0). The Rams were at Cheverus Tuesday. The Stags dropped to 3-2 (and fifth in the standings) after last week’s 3-2 loss to Portland. The Bulldogs have been a pleasant surprise this spring, improving to 4-2 and third in the Heals with their victory over Cheverus. Portland hosted defending regional champion Scarborough Monday. Defending Class C state champion Waynflete began the week 3-1 and seventh in the standings after a 5-0 win at Fryeburg Thursday.

The state singles tournament begins with the qualifying round Saturday.

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

Sidebar Elements


Deering senior Matt Flaherty tries to drive around Scarborough senior Andrew Jones during last week’s game. The Rams battled for 48 minutes, but fell, 7-6.

Waynflete’s Chris Burke breaks through two Freeport defenders during Saturday’s 9-1 victory. Burke had four goals and two assists.

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