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

South Portland’s baseball team has played a pair of hard-fought games to date and split them. Last week, the Red Riots opened at home versus Deering and despite a strong pitching effort from senior Andrew Richards and two hits and an RBI from senior Dillon Leary, fell, 4-3.

“(Deering’s) a good team,” said first-year South Portland coach Mike Owens. “We just couldn’t string together that big inning, get hits back-to-back. Most of that is credit to their pitchers, keeping us off-balance. Against a good team, you have to have multiple run innings. We got out of our approach a little bit. There are no moral victories. We have learn from it and build from it.”

The Red Riots got in the win column Tuesday, 8-6, at Massabesic. Senior Evan Indorf had three hits, senior Zach Horton, junior Will Bushey and sophomore Nick Whitten two apiece as South Portland built a 7-1 lead and held on to give junior Matt DiBiase the win.

The Red Riots were home against defending regional champion Biddeford Thursday, host Kennebunk Saturday and go to Portland Tuesday.

Scarborough lost its first game, 4-1, to visiting Cheverus Monday (despite a pair of hits from junior Joe Cronin). Tuesday, the Red Storm balanced their ledger with a 9-1 romp at Kennebunk. Junior Ben Wessel earned the victory. Freshman Ben Greenberg had three hits. Scarborough was home against Windham Thursday, hosts Thornton Academy Friday and plays at Sanford Tuesday.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth finally got underway Wednesday at Fryeburg. The Capers were supposed to open April 14 at Falmouth, but that game was postponed to Thursday. Cape Elizabeth is home versus Gray-New Gloucester Friday and visits rival Greely Monday.

Softball

The defending Class A state champion South Portland softball team has made a mockery of the opposition in the early going, romping over visiting Sanford (11-0) and host Kennebunk (13-0, in six innings). Senior Alexis Bogdanovich struck out 17 against the Redskins and 10 in a two-hitter versus the Rams. Senior Katlin Norton ripped a home run at Kennebunk, one of her three hits. Senior Amanda Linscott had four hits. The Red Riots hosted Deering Wednesday, go to Westbrook Friday and welcome Windham Monday.

Scarborough had no trouble in its first game, dominating host Windham, 13-1, behind junior Mo Hannan’s two-hit, 12-strikeout performance, two home runs and seven RBI from junior Abby Rutt and four hits from sophomore Marissa O’Toole. The Red Storm were home with Noble Wednesday and Westbrook Thursday, play at Marshwood Friday and return home Monday to meet Gorham.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was supposed to open April 14 at Falmouth, but poor conditions moved that game to Thursday. First, the Capers opened at three-time defending regional champion Fryeburg Wednesday. Cape Elizabeth has its home opener Friday versus Gray-New Gloucester. Monday, the Capers visit Greely.

Boys’ lacrosse

South Portland is off to a 1-2 start (please see story), while defending Class A champion Scarborough is up to its usual tricks.

The Red Storm blanked South Portland, 11-0, in the opener, then had their way with host Cheverus Saturday in the rain.

In the second, the visitors broke the ice when senior Tim Smith took a pass from junior Jon Blaisdell after a turnover and beat Pusey for a 1-0 lead. Before halftime, sophomore John Wheeler (from Blaisdell) and Blaisdell (from Wheeler) scored to make it 3-0 Scarborough.

With 6:18 to go in the third quarter, after 77 minutes, 42 seconds of shutout lacrosse, the Red Storm and sophomore goalie David Pearson finally surrendered a goal when Stags sophomore Warren Murray scored unassisted. A little over a minute later, Wheeler set up Blaisdell for a goal and a 4-1 lead, which would prove to be the final margin.

“Right now, our offense is still finding its personality,” said Scarborough coach Joe Hezlep. “The defense has stayed solid. It was effective. That’s the word for today. It wasn’t pretty and things didn’t go all that well, but we got the job done. We had more goals.”

Blaisdell scored twice, while Smith and Wheeler had a goal apiece. Blaisdell and Wheeler both had a pair of assists. Pearson stopped six shots.

“(Pearson’s) played great,” said Hezlep. “If he doesn’t make those saves, we would have to pull something out to get a win. He’s playing pretty well.”

Scarborough hosted Noble Wednesday, then welcomes Falmouth in a showdown of two of the best teams in the state Saturday.

“Falmouth will be a good one on our turf,” Hezlep said.

In Western B, defending champion Cape Elizabeth is hoping to bounce back from its 12-4 Opening Night loss at rival Falmouth. The Capers played host to Freeport Wednesday, welcome Kennebunk Saturday night, then host Yarmouth Monday night in a rematch of last year’s state final upset.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, defending Class A champion Scarborough extended its win streak to 16 Monday with a 15-4 romp at Sanford in its opener. Juniors Mary Scott and Maggie Smith both scored three times. The Red Storm were home against Portland Thursday, host Class B powerhouse Yarmouth Saturday and go to Deering Monday.

South Portland and Cape Elizabeth hadn’t started their seasons at press time.

The Red Riots began Thursday with a home game with Gorham. Saturday, they host Lincoln Academy. Monday brings a visit from McAuley.

The Capers were supposed to start April 14 at defending regional champion Waynflete, but poor field conditions moved that game to May 17. Cape Elizabeth finally got underway Thursday at home against Fryeburg. Friday, the Capers are at Marshwood. Monday, they host Yarmouth.

Track

The outdoor track season is underway.

Scarborough’s boys and girls were victorious out of the gate. The boys hosted Deering, Kennebunk and Marshwood and finished first. The girls ran, jumped and threw at Kennebunk and beat the Rams, Deering and Marshwood. Both Red Storm teams are at Gorham Tuesday.

South Portland opened against Biddeford, Massabesic and Westbrook. No results were available at press time. Both teams vie with city of Portland opponents (Cheverus, Deering, McAuley and Portland) early next week.

Cape Elizabeth starts its season Friday with a home meet versus Poland, Sacopee and Traip.

Tennis

Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B state champion boys’ tennis team started the 2010 season strongly Monday with a 5-0 win over three-time defending Class C champ Waynflete, snapping the Flyers’ 46-match win streak. The girls’ team also beat the Flyers, 3-2.

Scarborough’s girls beat Windham, 4-0, in their first match. The boys were postponed.

South Portland’s boys lost, 4-0, to Deering. The girls’ match was postponed.

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