Spring sports underway

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The 2011 spring sports season is now underway in earnest.

Some teams got a jump start by playing a game just before or during vacation week, but everyone else is now underway. Here’s a glimpse:

Baseball

Freeport and Greely’s baseball teams already had a game played before the start of this week.

The Falcons dropped a hard-fought 4-2 (eight inning) home decision to York. Senior Spencer Egan and junior Josh Weirich were both very effective on the mound in the defeat. Freeport returned to action Monday at Gray-New Gloucester and fell to 0-2 after another tough defeat, 4-3. In that one, the Falcons scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the score, but the Patriots answered in their half of the inning. Egan and junior Kaleb Farmer pitched well, senior Chris Libby tripled and junior Luke LaMagna had a key RBI double.

The Falcons were at Falmouth Wednesday, go to Yarmouth Friday and return home Monday to face Fryeburg.

Greely blanked Gray-New Gloucester in its opener, 7-0, last Thursday amid frigid conditions. Junior Mike Leeman was the star of that show, hurling a six inning, 11-strikeout shutout performance, while also scoring the game’s first run and driving in two others.

“I’m trying to be the number one pitcher,” Leeman said. “I don’t know if I am, but I’m trying. It felt good to help the team out. It takes me awhile when I pitch to settle in. Usually two or three innings. I tried not to think about it, but the wind was a big factor. We pulled it out.”

“Considering the elements, it was a solid effort, I thought,” said Rangers coach Derek Soule. “It’s not easy to play in temperatures like these. I’m very happy for Mike Leeman. He had an injury-plagued 2010. He played last year, but he was never 100 percent. No one worked harder in the winter, in terms of conditioning. You saw today that he was ready to play. He was fired up. After a shaky first inning, he really settled in. That’s what we were hoping for. He was outstanding.”

Greely improved to 2-0 Monday after winning, 8-1, at Poland. In that one, freshman Bailey Train, sophomore Jonah Normandeau and junior Luke Saffian all drove in runs during the a six-run sixth inning which put the game away. Normandeau pitched five innings to earn the win in his varsity debut, allowing no earned runs on four hits. Train pitched two innings of scoreless relief.

The Rangers visit York Friday, then have big back-to-back home tests next week versus defending regional champion and longtime rival Cape Elizabeth (Monday) and Falmouth (Wednesday).

Speaking of the Yachtsmen, they opened Monday at Wells and lost, 7-4, despite a pair of hits from senior Ben Goffin. Falmouth was home with Freeport Wednesday, plays host to Cape Elizabeth Thursday and goes to Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

Highly touted Yarmouth began its season Monday with an 11-0 (five inning) victory at Lake Region. Senior Aidan Sullivan earned the win with four shutout innings. The Clippers had their home opener Wednesday versus Wells, host Freeport Friday and Poland Monday.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy began its 2011 campaign at Sacopee Monday, winning in emphatic fashion, 26-0, in five innings. The Panthers scored five runs in the first inning, twice in the second, eight in the third, twice in the fourth and capped it off with a nine-spot in the fifth. Ryan Salerno earned the win and had four hits. Seniors Alan Brown (three hits) and Eli Leavitt homered. The Panthers were at Old Orchard Beach Wednesday.

Softball

NYA’s first varsity softball team since 2007 began play Monday at Sacopee. The Panthers fell, 19-2, in five innings. NYA was at Old Orchard Beach Wednesday and faces the Seagulls in its home opener Wednesday of next week.

In Western B, Freeport and Greely opened with early victories.

The Falcons opened in style, blanking visiting York, 7-0, behind a no-hitter from sophomore ace Leigh Wyman. Freeport dropped to 1-1 Monday after an 11-3 loss at Gray-New Gloucester. The Falcons were at Falmouth Wednesday and go to Yarmouth Friday before returning home Monday to host three-time defending regional champion Fryeburg.

The Rangers beat visiting Gray-New Gloucester, 7-3, Friday, behind a superb performance from sophomore Danielle Cimino, who singled, tripled, homered, drove in four runs and if that wasn’t enough, struck out 10 while earning the win on the mound. Junior Katie Whittum added a pair of hits. Greely improved to 2-0 Monday with a 14-2 (five inning) triumph at Poland. Whittum and junior Caroline Hamilton both had four hits and Cimino earned another victory. The Rangers go to York Friday and host Cape Elizabeth Monday.

Falmouth began its season Monday with a 4-3 setback at Wells. The Yachtsmen nearly rallied from a 4-0 deficit, but fell just short despite a pair of hits each from senior Sarah Collmus and sophomore Maddie Inlow. Falmouth hosted Freeport Wednesday, welcomes Cape Elizabeth Thursday and goes to Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

Yarmouth started off with a bang Monday with a 14-2 victory at Lake Region. Abbie Hutchinson had four hits, including a three-run home run, and drove in five runs. McKenzie Gray had three hits, including a triple that knocked in two. Gray pitched 6 innings, striking out eight and walking just one. Freshmen Alexa Sullivan and Monica Austin each had two hits.

“It was a great way to get our season started,” said Yarmouth coach Jim Senecal. “We played solid defense the whole game and got contributions from every part of our lineup which was very exciting. Hopefully this gives them the confidence that they will need going forward.

The Clippers had their home opener versus Wells Wednesday, play host to Freeport Friday, visit Sacopee Saturday and host Poland Monday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team made a huge early statement with a stunning 12-4 home victory over nemesis Cape Elizabeth April 15. The Yachtsmen, who were beaten in overtime by the Capers in last spring’s regional final, rode three goals from junior Jack Cooleen and two apiece from senior Nick Bachman, junior Mitch Tapley and sophomore Charlie Fay to the surprisingly easy win. Falmouth was home against Waynflete Wednesday, has a showdown at defending Class A champion Scarborough Saturday and hosts NYA Tuesday.

Freeport began the week 1-0 after downing visiting Lake Region, 14-4, in its first game, April 15. Junior Evan Hench had six goals and four assists, while senior Hans Pope finished with four goals and two assists. The Falcons were at defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth Wednesday, visit Edward Little Saturday and return home Wednesday of next week versus Wells.

Greely was scheduled to open at home against Wells April 15, but that game was postponed and played Monday, at Wells, where the Rangers triumphed, 9-2 . Greely broke open a close (3-2) game at the half and rolled behind four goals from Brendan Trelegan, three goals Nick Rotondi and five assists from Paul Witte.

“The slow start and low scoring game was attributed to the coaching staff pushing the team to be more aggressive this year and we wound up with 11 penalties,” said Rangers coach Casey Abbott. “We’re going to focus on cleaning up our checks and exaggerating proper hitting techniques in our upcoming practices while encouraging the guys to increase their aggressiveness even more. We also saw a few kinks in our offensive sets that need to be adjusted and we’ll spend a lot of time cleaning that up today. Our close D is finally coming together as a unit and we’re happy to start seeing some of their speed forcing turnovers that they’re turning into successful clears.”

Greely visited NYA Wednesday, goes to Lincoln Academy Friday and plays at Waynflete Tuesday.

“We’re looking forward to Wednesday at NYA,” Abbott said. “We had a competitive game with them last year and we hope to capitalize this year on the significant increase in scrimmages we had in the preseason.”

Yarmouth opened the Steve Moore Era with a 6-2 win at NYA April 15. Sophomore Nick Ronan scored twice to lead a balanced attack (five goal scorers). The Clippers were home against York Wednesday, pay a visit to Brunswick Saturday, then travel to Cape Elizabeth for a state championship game rematch Monday.

NYA looked to bounce back Wednesday, when it hosted Greely. The Panthers visit Oak Hill Saturday and play at Falmouth Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse

Every local girls’ lacrosse team except Yarmouth had a game under its belt when the week began. This week’s premier matchup featured the Clippers in their opener, Tuesday at NYA (please see story).

Falmouth opened April 14 with a 16-7 home win over Greely. Sophomore Alex Bernier led the way with seven goals, while classmate Molly Ryan scored five times. The Yachstmen faced a much sterner test Tuesday, when they hosted longtime powerhouse Waynflete, a team they’d never beaten (see theforecaster.net for game story). Falmouth is at Massabesic Saturday and goes to York Tuesday.

The Rangers, in their first season under new coach Sara Dimick, a one-time Greely standout, got three goals from senior Kelly Burrell and a pair from sophomore Etta Copenhagen in the loss to Falmouth. Greely hoped to get into the win column Wednesday when it hosted Wells. The Rangers host Cony Friday and NYA Tuesday.

Freeport lost its opener at NYA, 14-4. The Falcons hoped to get in the win column Tuesday when they played host to Fryeburg. Saturday brings a visit from Camden Hills. Freeport hosts Waynflete Tuesday.

Track

The outdoor track season commences Friday.

Falmouth and NYA’s boys and girls (along with Fryeburg) run, jump and throw at Wells. Freeport and Greely (along with Old Orchard Beach) are at Lake Region, Yarmouth joins Gray-New Gloucester and Waynflete at York.

Tennis

Local girls’ tennis action was scheduled to begin Monday, but rain postponed the Falmouth-Freeport, Greely-NYA and Yarmouth-York matches.

On the boys’ side, Falmouth downed host Freeport, 3-0, a rain-shortened match. Greely-NYA and Yarmouth-York were postponed.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed on Twitter @foresports

Sidebar Elements


Greely junior Mike Leeman hurled a gem and starred on offense as well during the Rangers’ 7-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester last week.

Greely freshman rightfielder Bailey Train races in to make a catch during the fifth inning of the Rangers’ win last week.

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