Stretch run underway, many big games loom-Southern edition

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Scarborough shortstop Bella Dickinson makes a throw across the diamond during the Red Storm’s 3-1 home win over Thornton Academy last week.

Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team celebrates Monday’s 4-3 walkoff home win over Yarmouth.

South Portland’s David Fiorini takes a shot during the Red Riots’ 10-8 loss at Cape Elizabeth last Friday.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Cape Elizabeth-Yarmouth and South Portland-Portland baseball, Scarborough-Thornton Academy softball and Cape Elizabeth-South Portland boys’ lacrosse game stories, with box scores and photos, see theforecaster.net)

The team tennis regular season is coming to a close, conference track meets will be held this weekend and the clock is ticking on the baseball, softball and lacrosse campaigns, meaning that the best time on the spring sports calendar, the postseason, is right around the corner.

Every contest takes on added importance as teams continue to jockey for playoff positioning.

Here’s a glimpse at what you might have missed, as well as a look at what’s left:

Baseball

South Portland’s baseball team has ascended to the top of the wide-open Class A South Heal Points standings after extending its win streak to eight by downing visiting Windham (3-0) and Deering (10-0, in six-innings) and host Portland (4-1) and Thornton Academy (9-6). Against the Eagles, Riley Hasson singled, doubled, tripled, drove in a run and combined with Zach Johnson (who earned the victory) to complete a shutout. In the win over the Rams, Noah Lewis threw a three-hit shutout, Noah McHugh had three hits and Riley Hasson, Caden Horton and Jake Poole all added a pair. The Red Riots trailed the Bulldogs, 1-0, going to the sixth inning, but Poole singled in Hasson to tie it, starting pitcher Hunter Owen singled in Johnson to put South Portland on top and the Red Riots added two more runs on a Dillan Bolduc sacrifice fly and a Johnson ground out. Owen earned the win and Connor Buckley got the save as South Portland won at Portland for the first time since 2013.

“I just tried to put the ball in play and my teammates played great defense behind me,” said Owen.

“I knew we’d break through, the way we roll,” Bolduc said. “We always get going.”

“They’ve had our number lately, so it’s a big (conference) win over a cross-town rival,” added South Portland coach Mike Owens. “I’m proud of how the kids competed today.”

Against the Golden Trojans, Owen singled, doubled and tripled, Horton added a couple hits, Buckley earned the win in relief and Hasson picked up the save.

The Red Riots (11-2) were at Falmouth Wednesday and hosted Sanford Thursday before closing the regular season Tuesday at Westbrook.

Scarborough took a 6-7 record and the No. 9 ranking into Wednesday’s makeup game at Windham. The Red Storm blanked visiting Thornton Academy, 2-0, last Thursday, then fell at Sanford Friday (4-3) and Massabesic Saturday (3-1). In the victory, Nick Thompson threw a three-hit shutout, striking out eight, Jack Clark had two hits and Nolan Lamontagne had an RBI double. In the loss to the Spartans, Lamontagne and Brian Austin both had two hits, but Scarborough let a 3-0 lead slip away. Zach Alofs had both of the Red Storm’s hits against the Mustangs. Scarborough hosted Cheverus Thursday and closes at Biddeford Saturday.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth sandwiched recent home wins over Poland (5-0) and Yarmouth (4-3) around a 4-2 loss at Wells to improve to 9-4 and second in the standings. Against the Knights, Ryan Weare, Jameson Bakke and Alec Riggle combined on the shutout, while Riggle and Cooper Hoffman each had two hits. In the loss, Carson Sullivan had two hits. The Capers trailed the Clippers, 3-2, going to the bottom of the sixth, but tied it on an error, then won it on Sean Agrodnia’s bases loaded, walkoff single. Bakke and Brendan Tinsman each had two hits and Hoffman threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the seventh.

“It was easy for me,” said Agrodnia. “Bases loaded, one out. All I had to do was put a ball through the infield. We’ve lost leads in the sixth or seventh inning. To grow as a team and be able to come back after giving up another lead was a big step for us.”

“We want momentum going into the postseason and to keep rolling,” Hoffman said. “We have to keep hitting the ball hard like we did this game and get good pitching and fielding.”

“All-around, it was a great-played game,” added Capers coach Andy Wood. “We rode the highs and the lows. It was a fun game to watch. I tip my cap to the guys to be able to battle back.”

Cape Elizabeth was at St. Dom’s Wednesday, hosts Greely Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and closes at Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

Softball

Scarborough’s defending Class A state champion softball team improved to 14-0 and extended its regular season win streak to 87 games after downing visiting Thornton Academy (3-1) and host Biddeford (14-0, in five-innings). Against the Golden Trojans, Chloe Griffin threw a three-hitter, Bella Dickinson doubled twice, drove in two runs and scored a run and centerfielder Laura Powell caught the final out with the tying runs on base.

“It’s a good experience for us as a team,” Powell said. “More fun than stressful. We pulled together in all aspects.”

“(Thornton Academy’s) a very good team,” Dickinson said. “I’m glad our defense came through. That won us the game.”

“It was a great game,” added longtime Red Storm coach Tom Griffin. ” I’m so proud of my kids. The girls played really well. The kids need to know that they can respond in these situations.”

Against Biddeford, Dickinson threw four shutout innings, fanning eight, and Sam Carriero and Lindsey Kelley each had two hits and drove in three runs. Scarborough (first in Class A South) hosted Windham Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and closes at home with Bonny Eagle Friday.

South Portland was 6-8 and 11th in Class A South (12 teams make the playoffs) after losses at Thornton Academy (12-2) and Windham (9-5). Grace Rende had three hits against the Golden Trojans. In the loss to the Eagles, Maria Buck drove in two runs. The Red Riots hosted Westbrook Wednesday and close at home versus Biddeford Friday.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth was 6-7 and was clinging to the 11th and final playoff spot following a 3-0 home win over Poland and losses at Wells (5-3) and at home to Yarmouth (9-0). Anna Cornell threw a three-hitter in the victory. Julia Torre had four hits and Jesse Robicheaw added three. The Capers went to St. Dom’s Wednesday, host Greely Friday and close at Gray-New Gloucester Monday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B state champion boys’ lacrosse team extended its win streak to four after downing host York (17-6) and visiting South Portland (10-8). In the victory over the Wildcats, Finn Raymond led the way with six goals, Archie McEvoy added five and Jacob Brydson finished with four . The Capers were down by a goal against the Red Riots in the fourth quarter, before scores from McEvoy, Sam Dresser and Ben Carroll allowed them to pull it out.

“Tough games ultimately have made our team better,” Carroll said.

“The kids played a great second half,” said longtime Capers coach Ben Raymond. “They did a great job on ground balls and defensively, we played well enough.”

Cape Elizabeth (6-3 and second to Thornton Academy in the Class A South Heals) was at Yarmouth Wednesday, looking to avenge an earlier loss, hosts Fryeburg Academy Wednesday of next week, then closes at Greely June 2.

South Portland fell to 5-3 and third in Class A South after losing at Cape Elizabeth. The Red Riots got four goals and three assists from Cooper Mehlhorn, but fell just short.

“Cape’s a great team, always has been, always will be, but at the end of the day, we have three losses and we’ve beaten ourselves in all three,” South Portland coach Tom Fiorini said. “It’s a tough loss. It hurts.”

The Red Riots were home with Thornton Academy Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Gorham Friday, go to defending Class A South champion Scarborough Wednesday of next week and close at home with Cheverus June 1.

Scarborough fell to 1-7 and eighth in Class A South (where only six teams make the playoffs) following losses at Gorham (14-8) and at home to Yarmouth (11-8). Andrew Granzier and Ethan Kavanaugh both scored twice in the loss to the Clippers. The Red Storm looked to snap a seven-game skid Wednesday at Kennebunk. After hosting Deering Friday, Scarborough plays host to South Portland Wednesday of next week, then closes at Falmouth June 1.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth moved up to third in Class B at 6-4 following a 12-10 loss at defending Class A champion Massabesic and a 20-4 home romp over North Yarmouth Academy. Emily Healy had four goals and Chloe Chapin three in the loss. Against the Panthers, Susie Graham had six goals, Chapin added four and both Healy and Julia Thoreck scored three times. Cape Elizabeth hosts Lake Region Tuesday of next week and closes at Greely June 1.

In Class A South, South Portland was 5-4 and third after Tuesday’s 15-4 home loss to two-time defending Class B champion Kennebunk. Jena Leckie and Amelia Pappalardo both scored twice. The Red Riots were at Thornton Academy Thursday, host Windham Tuesday of next week and close at Cheverus May 31.

Scarborough was 2-7 and eighth in Class A South (only seven teams make the playoffs) after a 12-6 loss at Greely and a 9-8, double-overtime victory at Gorham. Ellie Smith had five goals against the Rangers. In the victory, Smith and Leah Manfra each had three goals and Josie Patten scored the winner. The Red Storm were at Windham Thursday, host Kennebunk Tuesday of next week and close at home versus Biddeford May 31. Scarborough has qualified for the playoffs every year since 2001.

Outdoor track

Scarborough and South Portland took part in the final Southwestern Maine Activities Association outdoor track meet of the regular season, the Cumberland County Championship Meet, was held Friday at South Portland.

Scarborough’s boys finished first and South Portland came in fourth. The Red Storm got wins from Jarett Flaker in the 100 (11.11 seconds) and 400 (50.32), Anthony Clavette in the high jump (6 feet), Drew Gardner in the pole vault (12-6) and their 4×800 relay team (8 minutes, 32.70 seconds). The Red Riots got wins from Cliff Robbins-Sennewald in the racewalk (8:30.10) and Armel Maloji in the triple jump (42-1).

In the girls’ meet, won by Gorham, Scarborough was runner-up and South Portland fourth. The Red Storm got wins from Gaby Panagakos in the 100 (13.20), Emily Labbe in the 100 hurdles (16.12), Bethany Sholl in the two-mile (11:31.37) and Anna Gardner in the pole vault (10-0). Red Riots’ event-winners included Anna Folley in the 400 (1:01.44), Juliana Selser in the mile (5:08.60), Rebekah Hunnewell-Dunphe in the shot put (34-10.5) and Mary DiSanto in the discus (100-2).

Cape Elizabeth closed the regular season with a four-team meet at Fryeburg Academy. The Capers girls were first and the boys placed second.

The girls got wins from Darcy Cochran in the 100 hurdles (15.4) and 300 hurdles (46.35), and the 100 (13.18) and 200 (27.31), Jaya McClure in the 400 (1:04.61), Camilla Grosso in the 800 (2:36.81) and mile (5:44.97), Lila Gaudrault in the two-mile (12:02.99) and their 4×400 (4:29.41) and 4×800 (12:47.52) relay teams.

Boys’ first-place finishers included Matthew Concannon in the 100 (11.5), 200 (23.41) and triple jump (37-5), Jack Bassett in the two-mile (10:14.8), Matthew Conley in the high jump (5-8), Luc Houle in the shot put (43-11.75) and the 4×400 (4:00.82) and 4×800 (9:45.92) relay teams.

The SMAA championship meet will be Saturday in Saco, while the Western Maine Conference championship meet will also be Saturday in Naples.

Tennis

The state singles tournament continues and concludes this coming holiday weekend.

Local teams, meanwhile, were putting the final touch on the regular season at press time.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls finished the season 10-2 after Monday’s 4-1 win over York and will likely be the No. 3 seed in Class B South.

In Class A South, Scarborough finished 9-3 and will likely be the No. 5 seed after closing with a 3-2 win at Kennebunk.

South Portland lost, 4-1, to Portland in its finale to wind up 4-8. The Red Riots will be the 11th of 12 seeds in Class A South.

The Cape Elizabeth boys lost, 5-0, to 10-time defending Class C champion Waynflete to finish the year 7-5. The Capers will likely be the No. 3 seed in Class B South.

In Class A, South Portland went 4-8, closing with a 5-0 loss to Portland, and will be the No. 10 seed.

Scarborough finished 1-11 and 15th, but only 11 teams qualify for the playoffs. The Red Storm missed the postseason for the first time since 2004.

The playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week on the courts of the higher seeds.

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