Stretch run begins for city spring teams

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Last week, city sports teams continued to jockey for playoff position, taking part in a series of memorable contests. Here’s a look at where things stand as the spring sports season nears the final turn:

Baseball

Cheverus’ baseball team fell from the unbeaten ranks in a big way last week. The Stags lost three times, 6-3 at home to Bonny Eagle, 4-3 at home to South Portland and 3-0 at Sanford to fall to 6-3 on the year.

Cheverus got strong pitching in all three games, but couldn’t get a timely hit, something the Stags had specialized in up to that point.

Cheverus (now fifth in the latest Western Class A Heal Points standings) was home with Scarborough Tuesday, goes to Portland Thursday and visits Gorham Saturday. Next Tuesday, the Stags host preseason favorite Westbrook.

Don’t look now, but it appears as if three-time defending Class A state champion Deering is putting it all together. Last week, the Rams won three times, 6-0 at Sanford, 6-5 (in nine innings) over visiting Massabesic and 11-2 over visiting Thornton Academy, to improve to 7-2 on the season (sixth in the Heals).

Against the Redskins, Jake Nichols pitched a shutout and Devon Fitzgerald drove in four runs. In the win over the Mustangs, Deering tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a Nichols RBI hit, then won it in extras on a knock from junior Jamie Ross.

Against the Golden Trojans, Travis Wade had four hits and earned the save on the mound, Sam Balzano homered and earned the win and John Miranda also went deep.

The Rams were at Windham Tuesday, have a big test at Westbrook Thursday, host South Portland Saturday and play at Gorham next Tuesday.

Portland has cooled a bit in recent games, but is still a solid 6-3 and second in the standings.

Last week, the Bulldogs split four games, losing 10-2 at Thornton Academy and 6-1 at home to Marshwood, while winning 3-2 over visiting Bonny Eagle and 16-11 at Noble. Freshman Caleb Fraser earned the victory against the Scots.

Against the Knights, Portland rallied late for the win. Senior Adam Gould homered and freshman Nick Volger had three hits. The Bulldogs were at South Portland Tuesday, host Cheverus Thursday, play at Scarborough Saturday and welcome Windham next Tuesday.

In Western C, Waynflete bounced back from last Monday’s 13-2 loss at Old Orchard Beach with a 10-5 home win over Sacopee Saturday to improve to 2-3. Sam Fillinger earned the win, while Charlie Laprade, Max Ritchie and Tom Spagnola all had multiple hits. John Sherman added a clutch double.

The Flyers (14th in the Heals) were home with Old Orchard Beach Monday, visit Traip Friday and have a doubleheader at North Yarmouth Academy Saturday. Next Tuesday, they go to Sacopee.

Softball

McAuley’s stunning softball team continues to turn heads, but hard on the Lions’ heels is a rival they know all too well.

Last week, McAuley kept the good times rolling with wins over Windham (25-0, in five innings), Noble (7-1) and Marshwood (9-3).

Against the Eagles, senior Allina Verrillo and freshman Gabby Townsend homered, Townsend and junior Jen Field combined on a one-hit shutout and the Lions broke the game open with 16 runs in the second inning.

In the victory at Noble, McAuley had 11 hits, including triples from Townsend and freshman Sam Shildroth, who each had two hits, as did sophomore Shelby Bryant and freshman Molly Mack.

Against the Hawks, the Lions got a test for the first time in five games, but got a tiebreaking double from junior Kayla Daigle and three hits from freshman Amber Libby. Townsend improved to 5-0 on the mound.

McAuley (second in the latest Western A Heals) was at Gorham Monday, hosts Massabesic Wednesday, plays at Thornton Academy Friday and has its biggest test of the season next Monday when it hosts powerhouse, defending Class A state champion Scarborough.

Cheverus lost an improbable opener at McAuley (blowing an eight-run lead in the seventh innings), then fell to 1-2 with a one-run loss at Kennebunk April 28, but since then, the Stags have been untouchable.

Last week, they toyed with visiting Marshwood (11-0), host Gorham (10-0, in six innings) and visiting Massabesic (14-0, in five innings) to extend their win streak to seven and improve to 8-2 (good for seventh in Western A).

Against the Hawks, senior Theresa Hendrix continued to dominate on the hill and at the plate, pitching a shutout, scoring three runs, tripling twice and stealing a pair of bases. Senior Maddie Corrigan had two hits and two RBI.

In the win over the Rams, senior Audrey Grinnell stole the show, homering twice. Hendrix was heard from as well, doubling and tripling and earning the victory. Against the Mustangs, Hendrix doubled, tripled, drove in three runs and got the win. Senior Anna Snook had a two-run triple.

Cheverus was at Thornton Academy Monday, hosts Scarborough in a pivotal showdown Wednesday, plays at Biddeford Friday and welcomes Portland next Monday.

Deering entered the week 3-6 (11th in the region) after splitting a pair of games last week. The Rams lost, 7-0, at Kennebunk last Monday, then rolled to an 18-0 (five inning) home win over Westbrook Friday. In that one, Kaylee Wheeler threw a no-hitter and Jen Lynch and Katie Pickering both went deep.

Deering was at Windham Monday, hosts Noble Wednesday, plays at Marshwood Friday and welcomes Gorham Monday of next week.

Portland got in the win column last Monday, edging visiting Massabesic, 6-5, thanks to junior Hannah Higgins’ game-winning RBI. The Bulldogs fell to 1-8 two days later with an 11-4 setback at Thornton Academy. Senior Maggie Kilbride had three hits in the loss.

Portland (14th in Western A) has the most difficult possible schedule imaginable upcoming. It was at Biddeford Monday, hosts South Portland Friday and Scarborough Saturday, then plays at Cheverus next Monday.

Boys’ lacrosse

While Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team passed a big regional test Saturday afternoon (please see story), Cheverus, Deering and Waynflete were taking part in crossover affairs.

The Stags have turned things around after an 0-2 start and beat host Westbrook, 13-5, last Tuesday for their fifth win in six games. Saturday, however, Cheverus had the daunting task of hosting two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth, the premier program in the state. The Stags trailed 3-0 after one quarter, 8-0 at the half and 12-0 after three en route to a 13-2 setback. Senior Stefano Caiazzo and junior Evan Jendrasko had goals and senior Sean Oddy stopped 21 shots.

Cheverus (now 5-4 and fourth in the latest Eastern A Heals) goes to Noble Wednesday and plays at Windham Saturday.

The Rams of Deering have overcome injury woes to remain in the playoff hunt. Deering lost, 9-5, to visiting Kennebunk last Wednesday, but beat host Cony, 7-1, Thursday and edged visiting Morse, 9-8, Saturday to improve to 5-3 (good for ninth in Eastern A).

Junior Cody Marcroft had two goals against Cony. Seniors Jackson Sewall (four goals, one assist) and Riley Asbury (three goals, one assist) helped pace the victory over the Shipbuilders. Sophomore Karl Rickett continued to dominate in the faceoff circle and junior Nick Holton stopped 15 shots.

The Rams are at Massabesic Wednesday and have a big test at rival Portland Saturday.

In Western B, Waynflete’s offense has exploded in recent games. The Flyers, who fell to 3-3 after last Tuesday’s 14-2 loss at Yarmouth, are now 5-3 after road romps over Lake Region (19-1) and Camden (18-4).

Against the Lakers, sophomore phenom Chris Burke had five goals and four assists, while senior Miles Beaven added four tallies and three helpers. In the victory over Camden, Burke erupted for eight goals, while Beaven and freshman Zander Majercik both had five. Senior Tucker Geoffroy assisted on six of the goals.

Waynflete (fifth in the Heals) was home with Wells Tuesday and has a big test at NYA next Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team has shaken off its early-season loss at NYA and has returned to championship form with five straight wins. Last week, the Flyers enjoyed victories at top regional contenders Cape Elizabeth (11-7) and Falmouth (15-5).

Against the Capers, freshman Martha Veroneau had four goals and senior Morgan Woodhouse won a whopping 18 of 20 draws as Waynflete pulled away in the second half to win. In the win at the dangerous Yachtsmen (who would end Brunswick’s 36-game win streak three days later), Woodhouse, on her 18th birthday, scored seven goals.

Saturday, the Flyers hosted Cheverus, who made things interesting for half, trailing only 5-3 at the break. But in the second half, Waynflete came to life and pulled away for a 14-4 triumph, as senior Amy Allen had six goals and Woodhouse added five (with four assists).

The Flyers (first in the Western B Heals) were at Greely Tuesday and play at Kennebunk Wednesday. Saturday, they return home to host York. Waynflete closes its regular season next Monday and Tuesday with huge tests at Yarmouth and at home versus NYA.

Cheverus’ loss at Waynflete was its second in a row, but the Stags are still 5-3 on the season. Last Tuesday, they downed host Marshwood, 15-10, behind four goals each from seniors Grace Franson and Emily Van Duzer. Thursday, Cheverus put up 11 goals against powerhouse Scarborough, but the Red Storm managed 23.

In the loss to the Flyers, senior Grace Fitzpatrick scored twice. The Stags (second to Brunswick in the Eastern A Heals) hope to finish strong to have at least one, and possibly two playoff games at home. They visited Windham Tuesday and host Kennebunk Friday.

Cheverus closes up next week with a home game versus Thornton Academy and a contest at Gorham.

Portland is also 5-3 and is fourth in Eastern A after a 2-1 week. The Bulldogs enjoyed a 13-4 home victory over Bonny Eagle (sophomore Catherine Flaherty and freshman Drew Barry both scored three times and senior goalie Danielle Holt had a big game), lost 14-8 at Thornton Academy (despite senior Nancy McAdam’s two goals), then defeated visiting Camden, 13-1, Saturday, as McAdam had four goals and sophomore Raechel Allen added a pair.

Portland was at Deering Tuesday and hosts Westbrook Saturday.

Speaking of the Rams, they’ve come to life and won three of four to improve to 3-4-1 on the year (good for 10th in the latest Heals). Last week, Deering downed visiting Biddeford, 11-6, fell, 6-5, at Westbrook, then defeated visiting Gardiner, 9-4.  Juniors Zahra Abu and Maddie Burns both had three goals against Biddeford. Burns and sophomore Veronica Mitchell each scored twice in the loss and junior Jessie Cinque had three against Gardiner. Senior goalie Julie Pallozzi was solid throughout.

The Rams hosted Portland Tuesday and go to Bonny Eagle Friday.

In Western A, McAuley began the week in the No. 11 spot with a 2-5 mark. Last week, the Lions lost to Edward Little (7-6) and Windham (12-6) before bouncing back with an 8-6 home victory over Noble. Freshman Sam Paglio had three goals, while senior Olivia Locke and sophomore Taxia Arabatzis each added a pair in the win.

McAuley was home against Biddeford Monday and South Portland Tuesday, then goes to Sanford Friday.

Track

The start of the track postseason is just a little over a week away (conference meets are May 29, state championships are June 5). Last week, Cheverus’ boys hosted Bonny Eagle, Sanford and Scarborough and came in first. The girls (along with Gorham, Noble and Thornton Academy) competed at South Portland and placed second.

Deering’s boys joined Kennebunk and Massabesic at Westbrook and finished fourth. The girls’ squad won a home meet which included the same teams. McAuley was fourth and Portland fifth at a meet at Marshwood (which also featured Biddeford and Windham).

The Bulldogs boys’ team competed at Windham (along with Biddeford and Marshwood) and placed fourth. Waynflete did not score at a meet in Poland (which also included Falmouth and St. Dom’s).

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

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