Spring sports season hits midway point

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Thornton Academy softball, Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth-Greely and Scarborough-Deering boys’ lacrosse and Cape Elizabeth-Greely girls’ lacrosse game stories, with photos and box scores, please visit theforecaster.net)

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-Red Storm back on track

Scarborough’s baseball team suffered its first loss last Wednesday, 7-5, to visiting Marshwood, but bounced back to defeat visiting Kennebunk Thursday (11-0, in five innings) and visiting Bonny Eagle Monday (7-1). Against the Rams, Ben Wessel threw a one-hitter, fanned 10 and had three hits, Joe Cronin added three hits and Nick Bagley had four RBI. Ben Greenberg got the win and Bagley had two RBI versus the Scots. The Red Storm (6-1 and third in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) had a chance to avenge last year’s playoff loss when it went to South Portland Thursday. Scarborough hosts Cheverus Saturday and goes to Noble Tuesday.

South Portland dropped a 3-2 (nine inning) decision at Sanford last Thursday and fell to 1-5 and 15th in Western A Monday after a 6-0 home loss to Thornton Academy. The Red Riots were home with Scarborough Thursday, host Windham Friday, go to Gorham Saturday and play host to Bonny Eagle Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth blanked visiting York (2-0) last Thursday and host Wells (12-0, in five innings) Monday to improve to 4-3 (ninth in the Heals). Against the Wildcats, Will LeBlond threw an eight-hit shutout, while Sam Kozlowski had three hits. In the win over the Warriors, Zach Culver had a career day, singling, doubling, tripling, homering and driving in six runs. Kozlowski earned the win with a one-hitter. He struck out six. The Capers were home with Waynflete Thursday. Cape Elizabeth hosts Fryeburg Friday and Yarmouth Saturday, goes to Freeport Monday and Lake Region Wednesday.

Softball-Capers win a pair

On the softball diamond, Cape Elizabeth is working its way up the Western Class B standings. The Capers held off visiting York, 8-5, last Thursday and eked out a 7-6 win at Wells Monday to improve to 4-2 (11th in the Heals). Against the Wildcats, Kate Rabasca earned the win, while Anna Goldstein got the save. Emmy Ham scored three runs. Elise Flathers singled and tripled. In the win over the Warriors, Goldstein got the win and Ellen Best and Ashley Tinsman had multiple hits. Cape Elizabeth hosted Yarmouth Wednesday, welcomes powerhouse Fryeburg Friday, goes to Freeport Monday, hosts Traip Tuesday and plays at Lake Region Wednesday.

In Western A, defending state champion Scarborough continues to have no peer. The Red Storm were 7-0 and first in the Heals at press time after recent wins at Thornton Academy (6-3) and Sanford (6-0). Scarborough found itself down 3-0 at the Golden Trojans, but erupted for four runs in the sixth to take the lead, capped by a clutch, two-out, two-run bases loaded single from Grace Farnkoff. The Red Storm added two more in the seventh and Erin Giles slammed the door.

“It was really intense,” Farnkoff said. “I was getting nervous, but we knew we had to stay calm. We know our offense is capable of so much and was capable of coming alive and it wound up happening.”

“It was definitely nervewracking,” Giles said. “This was a really good game. Thornton’s an incredible team. We knew that going into this, but we were able to show what kind of team we are.”

“We’ve played some great games over the years, but this is probably the most gutsy game I’ve seen the girls play,” Scarborough coach Tom Griffin added. “We were far from perfect. We made some big mistakes. They dug down and they found a way. I’m just so proud of them. They stayed focused and confident. Things worked out. We’re just really fortunate we came up with the big inning and found a way to win.”

Against Sanford, Alyssa Williamson threw a four-hitter, striking out 10 batters. Chelsea Damon paced the offense with three RBI, Giles had three hits and Dominique Burnham scored twice and drove in a pair. The Red Storm goes to Deering Friday, hosts Noble (11 a.m.) and Massabesic (3 p.m.) in a Saturday doubleheader, welcomes McAuley Monday and visits Kennebunk Wednesday.

South Portland is second to Scarborough in the Western A Heals with a 5-2 mark after recent victories at Massabesic (17-0, in six innings) and McAuley (8-3). Erin Bogdanovich had a six-hit shutout against the Mustangs, while Libby Grant and Laurine German both had three hits. Bogdanovich had three hits, three runs scored and earned a save against the Lions. The Red Riots were home with Kennebunk Wednesday and Deering Thursday. They go to Marshwood Friday, welcome Cheverus Monday and play at Windham Tuesday.

Boys’ lacrosse-A win streak for the Red Riots

South Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team started the year 1-4 against a very tough schedule, but since has won two straight to improve to 3-4 (fifth in the Western A Heals). Last Wednesday, the Red Riots handled visiting Bonny Eagle, 10-3, behind four goals from Thomas Leddy and three from Andrew Whipple. Monday, South Portland rolled at Windham, 12-1, as Mike Salvatore had three goals. Leddy, Joey DiBiase and Duncan Preston each scored twice. South Portland was at Thornton Academy Wednesday, then doesn’t play again until May 19 at home versus Waynflete.

Scarborough is 7-0 and first in Western A after holding off visiting Deering, 7-6, last Wednesday and beating host Portland, 8-2, Friday. Against the Rams, the Red Storm had to hold on late and relied on goalie David Pearson to make 18 saves, several of them at critical times. John Wheeler had three goals to lead the offense.

“It was kind of scary there,” Pearson said. “They came strong on us. It was hard to keep up with them. It felt like we had the momentum after the seventh goal, but they came back strong, which we expected would happen. We had to stay strong. We had good defense. They gave me shots I could see. I just had to make the saves.”

“It’s been really good for us to have close games,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. “It was a great game. Deering had a phenomenal performance.”

Against Portland, Wheeler scored four goals, Pallotta three and Blaisdell one. Blaisdell and Wheeler each had two assists. Pearson made 10 saves. The Red Storm was home with Gorham Wednesday, then has a week off before its next test at Kennebunk.

“We have to keep working hard, keep our mind on each game and not look ahead,” Wheeler said. “Of course we like the bulls-eye. We like the challenge.”

“We need to improve on some of the simple stuff,” said Hezlep. “We have good things happening, we’ll be OK. It’s good coming down the stretch, we have Kennebunk, Yarmouth, Marshwood, Thornton. It’s a good way to end the season. It’ll be fun.”

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth remains unbeaten and is first in the Heals. The Capers enjoyed recent wins at Waynflete (15-5), Yarmouth (12-8) and at home over Greely (14-5). Cape Elizabeth led the Flyers just 8-5 heading for the fourth quarter, but pulled away behind six goals from Alex Bornick. Bornick erupted for seven in the win at the Clippers. He got plenty of help from his teammates, including Adam Haversat, who won 15 of 17 faceoffs, and goalie Will Goduti, who made four key second half saves.

“Today, we came out strong and possessed the ball a lot,” said Bornick, after the Yarmouth win. “I know when we get close games like that, it pushes us to go harder. That’s what we did. In our previous games, we’ve done poorly in the first three quarters, then pulled it out in the end. When it gets close like that, we can’t keep it close.”

“We played well at times and we played poorly at times,” Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond said. “We fell asleep from time to time. We just don’t play consistently enough. When we played well, the ball was barely on the ground, we made good decisions and shot well. Then, we went to the other end of the spectrum.”

Monday, the Capers shot to a 6-1 first quarter lead against the Rangers and never looked back as Justin Cary scored a team-high five goals. Timmy Lavallee added four.

“It’s great to have Timmy and Bornick on attack,” Cary said. “They give the assists like no one else. They’re great to work with. Defenses definitely focus on Timmy. Alex and I switch off. Having Timmy covered by the best man definitely helps. We’ve got Tom Bottomley, Forest Hewitt, Brian Brett, even Griffin (Thoreck), who’s a freshman. They can all finish.”

Cape Elizabeth plays host to Cheverus Friday night.

“Cheverus sticks out quite a bit because they’re worth a ton of points,” said Raymond. “That’s a difference in ours and Famouth’s schedule. We have Cheverus and Kennebunk and they have Portland and Deering. If we can get the points off Cheverus, that will go a long way.”

The Capers then go to Falmouth for a critical showdown next Wednesday, which will go a long way toward determining who has homefield advantage for the postseason.

“Each game we play like it’s Falmouth,” said Cary. “It’s definitely a big game. No doubt about it.”

Girls’ lacrosse-Capers pass biggest test yet

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth romped through its first five outings, including a 16-8 victory at York and a 14-6 home triumph over Yarmouth last week. Against the Wildcats, Talley Perkins had five goals, Hannah Newhall and Liz Robinson three each. In the Capers’ first victory over the Clippers this century, Lauren Steidl scored five times and Abby McInerney added three goals.

Monday, in the rain, Cape Elizabeth hosted a Greely squad it pounded, 19-8, in the season opener and when the Capers went up 8-2 in the first half, another easy win appeared imminent, but Cape Elizabeth didn’t score the final 30 minutes of the game and watched as the Rangers pulled within 8-7. Greely had a couple great looks in the waning seconds, but Capers goalie Elin Sonesson made clutch saves and Cape Elizabeth was able to hold on and improve to 6-0 (second to Waynflete in the Western B Heals).

“We haven’t a game this close yet this season,” said Sonesson. “It was a lot more stressful than the last few games have been. I try to not think about the score. I try to forget about the goals I let in. I just try to focus on the ball. We kind of fell apart. We played a lot better in the first half. We beat them by a lot the first game. I think we thought it was in the bag. We had a lot of close games last year, but we’re not used to it this year.”

“I’m about 10 years older, I think, after that,” said first-year Capers coach jeff Perkins. “I think my eyes were closed. I saw the ball go up in the air and asked my assistant, ‘Did she make the stop?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ It was just phenomenal. She stepped up at the best time. It’s a tribute to Greely. I think we were cruising a little bit. They came out and played a great second half. Truthfully, we didn’t deserve to win that game. I love my girls, they played a great first half, but they didn’t answer the bell in the second half.”

Steidl had three goals. Newhall and Perkins two apiece.

Cape Elizabeth has a Heal Points-rich showdown at two-time defending Class A champion Scarborough Saturday. The Capers host Freeport Tuesday.

“We have a big game against Scarborough Saturday,” Perkins said. “It’s all about getting homefield if you can. I want to get a home game. We’re certainly playing the Heal Point game. Now we have to go out and really prove how good we are playing against the best team in Class A, which is Scarborough. This gives us something to work on. (The girls) all realize they got away with one. We’ll learn from it and try to be better. We have big games coming up and now we know we can play in a close game.”

In Western A, defending state champion Scarborough is third behind Marshwood and Gorham with a 5-0 record. The Red Storm, after a week off, held off visiting Massabesic’s upset bid Monday, winning, 8-5, behind three goals from Laura Przybylowicz and a pair from Kelsey Howard. A free position goal from Kat Gadbois with 21:51 to play put Scarborough ahead to stay.

“I love it,” said Red Storm coach Marcia Wood. “Just to have a close game is so nice. This could have easily been (Massabesic’s) game. I thought they played great defense. Their transition was decent and they have good shooters. The girls want to play well and make it an art form and make people in the stands appreciate girls’ lacrosse. We talked about making it pretty. We’re most successful when everyone’s involved, not just Kelsey, Laura, Maggie (Smith) and Mary (Scott).”

Scarborough’s slate is about to get much tougher. After playing at Cheverus Thursday, the Red Storm hosts Cape Elizabeth Saturday and visits Thornton Academy Monday.

“The rest of the way will be tough, but I look forward to it,” said Wood. “We’ll see what we’re made of. We can’t start slowly the rest of the year.”

South Portland dominated visiting Noble, 15-4, last Thursday, but fell to 2-3 (and 10th in Western A) with a 6-3 home loss to Westbrook Monday. In the victory, Olivia Edwards and Anh Nguyen both scored four times, while Lani Edwards had three goals. Ericka Lightner had two goals in the defeat. The Red Riots were at Biddeford Thursday, go to Freeport Saturday and host McAuley Tuesday.

Track

Cape Elizabeth’s outdoor track team joined Poland at Falmouth Monday. The boys came in second to the hosts and the girls placed third. For the boys, Deven Roberts won the 110 hurdles (17.8 seconds). Billy Brooks took the 100 (12.05) and 200 (24.2). Catherine Tierney in the racewalk (10 minutes, 2.4 seconds), Alissa Mitchell in the shot put (27 feet, 7.5 inches) and the 3,200 relay team (11:31.4) all were runners-up in the girls’ competition.

Scarborough hosted Gorham, Westbrook and Windham last Thursday and both Red Storm teams had first-place finishes.

The boys’ effort was keyed by wins from Ryan Jamison in the 200 (24.08), Wout Moulin in the 800 (2:08.42) and the mile (4:39.88), Alec James in the pole vault (12-6), Kevin Manning in the javelin (147-4) and the 400 (46.10) and 3,200 (8:38.43) relay teams.

The girls’ squad got victories from Nicole Kirk in the 100 (13.04) and 200 (26.42), Emily Tolman in the 400 (1:00.15) and long jump (15-8), Sarah Rinaldi in the high jump (4-8), Andrea Tolman in the pole vault (9-6), Courtney Alofs in the discus (101-3), Haela Booth-Howe in the javelin (105-4) and all three relay teams (400, 51.90; 1,600, 4:11.04; 3,200, 11:08.98).

South Portland’s girls were scheduled to compete at Thornton Academy Thursday, but that meet was postponed due to poor weather. The Red Riots host Kennebunk, Sanford and Windham Monday. The boys joined city rivals Cheverus, Deering and Portland in meet last week and came in second to the Rams. Jacob Guay won the racewalk (9:13.5), Thomas Salamone took the 400 (55.4), Darryl Wilkinson won the 800 (2:07.2) and Ben Michaud captured the triple jump (38-1).

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis team was 4-1 and third in the Western B Heals at press time. The Capers were a 5-0 winner over Fryeburg Monday. They have a showdown at rival Falmouth Friday. In Western A, reigning regional champion Scarborough is third with a 5-1 mark after Monday’s 5-0 win at Portland. The Red Storm is home with top-ranked Deering Friday. South Portland improved to 3-2 (ninth in Western A) Monday with a 3-2 victory at Westbrook. The Red Riots go to Portland Wednesday of next week.

On the girls’ side, defending Western A champion Scarborough fell to 4-2 and fourth in the Heals after Monday’s 3-2 home loss to Portland. The Red Storm goes to undefeated McAuley Wednesday of next week. South Portland improved to 3-3 (and 10th in the standings) after a 5-0 win over Westbrook Monday. The Red Riots host Portland Tuesday of next week. In Western B, Cape Elizabeth is 4-3 and fourth in the Heals after Monday’s 3-2 win over York. The Capers are at third-ranked Greely Wednesday of next week.

The state singles tournament begins Saturday with the qualifying round.

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

Sidebar Elements


Cape Elizabeth’s Emma Inhorn heads toward a fourth-place finish in the two-mile at Monday’s meet in Falmouth.

Scarborough’s John Wheeler looks for operating room during last week’s home win over Deering.

Cape Elizabeth’s Thomas Bottomley gets up close and personal with Yarmouth’s Anders Overhaug during the Capers’ 12-8 win Saturday night.

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