Tennis playoffs set; Baseball, softball, lax wrap up regular seasons

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(For the full Falmouth-Greely, Falmouth-Yarmouth and Greely-Yarmouth baseball, Falmouth-Fryeburg Academy softball, Yarmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse and Falmouth-Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, visit theforecaster.net)

Local baseball, softball, lacrosse and tennis teams scrambled to get games and matches in last week and there was plenty of drama in the mix.

The tennis postseason is now upon us, albeit with some alterations, while by press time, baseball, softball and lacrosse will be putting the finishing touches on their regular years.

Here’s a glimpse:

Tennis

The Maine Principals’ Association announced last week that it was adjusting the playoff schedule. As a result, the quarterfinals will be held Friday and the semifinals Monday. The regional finals will be June 8 and states June 11, as originally scheduled.

The singles tournament was also affected by the weather. The Round of 48 was held Monday. The Round of 16 was Tuesday and the semifinals and championships will be contested Saturday at Bates College in Lewiston.

Both Falmouth teams are unbeaten and top ranked entering the playoffs.

The boys’ squad, which didn’t even make it out of the quarterfinals in 2010, finished 12-0 after a 4-1 win at Waynflete last Wednesday. The Yachtsmen dropped just two points all season and will open at home versus No. 8 Morse (6-6). The teams didn’t meet this year.

The other local boys’ teams weren’t as fortunate.

Yarmouth finished 4-8, but wound up ninth, making it the first team out. Greely also wound up 4-8 and 10th. Freeport (2-10) finished 12th.

In Western C, North Yarmouth Academy came in 10th with a 3-9 mark, but only seven teams qualified.

On the girls’ side, three-time defending Class B champion Falmouth and four-time reigning Class C champ NYA are back looking for more.

The Yachtsmen beat every team they faced by a 5-0 score this year and wound up first in Western B with a 12-0 record. Falmouth carries a 57-match win streak into its quarterfinal round match versus No. 8 Mountain Valley (5-7). The Yachtsmen didn’t play the Falcons this year.

Yarmouth was a solid 10-2 this spring, losing only to Falmouth and NYA, finishing third in Western B. The Clippers draw No. 6 Greely (6-6) in the quarterfinals. Yarmouth won the regular season meeting, 3-2, at home, on May 4. The teams last met in the playoff in the 2006 quarterfinals (a 5-0 Rangers triumph). Yarmouth eliminated Greely in the 2002 preliminary round (4-1) and 2004 quarterfinals (3-2).

Freeport finished 14th in Western B at 2-10 and did not qualify.

NYA won 11 of its 12 matches, falling only to Falmouth, and finished a close second to Hall-Dale in the Western C Heals. The Panthers open against No. 7 Boothbay (9-3), a team they don’t play in the regular season.

Baseball

Greely and Yarmouth’s baseball teams were battling for the top spot in Western Class B at press time.

The Rangers extended their win streak to nine last with wins at Falmouth (9-1, in a game played at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach) and Traip (16-0, in five innings). Friday, however, Greely let a 5-0 lead slip away at Yarmouth and lost, 6-5, to drop to 13-2 on the season. The Rangers entered Tuesday night’s regular season finale versus rival Cape Elizabeth at the Ballpark (see theforecaster.net for game story) slightly ahead of the Clippers for first in the Heal Points standings.

Yarmouth’s win over Greely was much-needed. The Clippers had lost, 9-1, to visiting Falmouth two days prior, but capped their comeback against the Rangers on senior Dustin McCrossin’s two-run single in the sixth. Senior Campbell Belisle-Haley, whose time on the mound has been limited due to injury, worked out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh to end it. Yarmouth hosted NYA in the teams’ finale Wednesday.

Falmouth is also postseason-bound. The Yachtsmen appear to be saving their best for last. After rolling 9-1 at Yarmouth behind senior hurler Dillon Dresser, Falmouth was a 16-3 home winner over Sacopee Friday and downed visiting Fryeburg (12-4) Monday to improve to 9-6 (sixth in the standings). The Yachtsmen closed the regular season at home against Wells Wednesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), hoping to move up.

Freeport will fall short, despite continuing to be competitive and entertaining. Last week, the Falcons lost a 14-12 home slugfest to Wells, then downed host Old Orchard Beach (8-5). Freeport (5-10 and 12th in the Heals) finished at home versus Traip Wednesday.

In Western C, NYA went into its finale, at Yarmouth, still hoping to earn a top four finish and a home playoff game. Last week, the Panthers romped at Richmond (18-5), Sacopee (15-5, in five innings) and at home over Buckfield (14-4, in six innings), before holding off visiting Waynflete, 6-2, to stretch their win streak to five and improve to 12-3. NYA was fifth in the Heals at press time, but a win over Yarmouth would help the cause and possibly elevate the Panthers as high as third.

Softball

On the softball side, Yarmouth continues to lead the way. The Clippers capped a 14-2 regular season (their best since 2006) last week with wins over visiting Falmouth (4-2) and host Greely (8-7, in eight innings). Against the Rangers. Yarmouth couldn’t hold a 7-2 seventh inning lead, but pushed across a run in the eighth.

“Yes, our record has exceeded my expectations going into the start of the season,” said Clippers coach Jim Senecal. “Our goal was to make the playoffs and we honestly thought we’d be battling for a playoff spot like many other seeds.”

Senecal praised the play of All-Star captains Abbie Hutchinson (.451 avg. 28 runs scored) and Julie Dursema (.472 avg. 21 RBI).

“We knew that they were going to have great seasons once again this year and they have,” Senecal said. “Both Abbie and Julie have put together tremendous regular seasons, but the difference this year is that they’ve had plenty of help.

“Two freshmen have started for us in key infield positions all year and have been great. Alexa Sullivan (.345) has been a good enough hitter to bat leadoff. Her speed, smart baserunning and a quick bat has lengthened our lineup and allowed us to score more runs. Our third baseman, Monica Austin (.324), has been a consistent defender in the short game and a surprisingly good hitter. Sophomore McKenzie Gray (.415) is one of the top pitchers in the league. She doesn’t overpower hitters like some pitchers do, but can hit her spots consistently and changes speeds very well. Junior Suzanne Driscoll (.373) has solidified our play up the middle and has played a huge role offensively for us in key situations.

“Most rewarding has been the play of our other three seniors. Laura Klepinger has added depth to our pitching. She’s 6-0 on the season and has come in in some very high-pressure situations and been successful. Lauren Wrobleski has added speed and very strong defense. Cassidy Cleaves answered one of our question-marks at the start of the year by taking the first base job and exceeding our expectations with her strong play there. Also, her bat has been heating up that the end of the season just when we need it most.”

Yarmouth will be the No. 2 seed behind three-time defending regional champion Fryeburg for the playoffs.

“We’re excited about our chances, but know that any team that makes it can certainly beat any other.The interesting thing about our team this year, is that we’ve been able to win games in which we’ve been outhit and have been outplayed defensively. Good teams often have to win ugly and we’ve done that a few times this season. Offensively, we’re as good as anybody. We’ll work hard this week to tighten up our defense a bit. If we can do that, I really like our chances.”

Falmouth was in the fifth spot at press time with an 8-7 mark after dropping five of six. Last week, the Yachtsmen lost to visiting Greely (11-10, in an eight-inning slugfest) and host Yarmouth (4-2), then downed visiting Sacopee Valley (3-1). Monday, Falmouth battled Fryeburg for seven compelling innings, but despite a superb effort from senior pitcher Kelsey Freedman, lost, 1-0. The Yachtsmen closed at home versus Wells Wednesday.

Greely was clinging to the ninth and final playoff spot entering the week. The Rangers eked out an 11-10 (eight inning) decision at Falmouth, dominated at Traip (14-0), then, despite a valiant rally, lost, 8-7, at home to Yarmouth. Greely (9-6) had a pivotal contest at Cape Elizabeth in the finale Wednesday.

Freeport was 5-10 and 14th in the region at the start of the week and will fall short of the postseason. Last week, the Falcons lost at home to Wells, 9-2, then won at Old Orchard Beach, 4-2. Freeport was home with Traip in its finale Wednesday.

In Western C, NYA ended its return to varsity play 0-12 (18th in the Heals) after a 13-0 setback at Richmond and an 11-4 home loss to Buckfield last week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team has all-but locked up the top seed in Western Class B for a second consecutive year. The Yachtsmen rolled past visiting Greely (14-2) and host NYA (15-4) last week to improve to 10-1. Against the Rangers, Charlie Fay and Mitch Tapley both had four goals, Zach Alexander added three and Brendan McDonnell scored once and assisted on four other goals. Fay scored three times and had two assists versus the Panthers, while McDonnell had two goals and three helpers. Falmouth closed at Freeport Tuesday.

Greely will likely finish fourth in Western B. The Rangers got goals from senior Austin Spencer and junior Matt Ricker, a solid performance from junior Nick Robinson in the faceoff circle and 12 saves from junior Sam Reed in the loss to Falmouth, which dropped them to 7-4.

“We were looking pretty good,” said Greely coach Casey Abbott. “We were playing our game offensively, we just didn’t finish as much as we’d like to. Sam Reed played fantastic in the goal. We’ll tune up our offense for the playoffs.”

The Rangers closed at home versus Yarmouth Wednesday, hoping to beat the Clippers for the first time since May 13, 2003.

“We’re looking forward to that one,” Abbott said. “I think it’ll be a good game. Hopefully the guys will have some fun. This is the level we want to play at. We’re pumped. I hope we can play Falmouth again in the playoffs.”

In Eastern B, speaking of Yarmouth, the Clippers appeared bound for the No. 2 seed behind St. Dom’s. Yarmouth was a 14-4 home winner over Freeport last Wednesday, then, despite a strong effort, lost, 6-2, to visiting Cape Elizabeth Friday to fall to 6-5. The Clippers finished at Greely Wednesday.

NYA will probably go fourth in the region. Last week, the Panthers’ losing streak hit three after they fell at Waynflete (11-7) and at home to Falmouth (15-4). NYA (4-7) closed at home versus York Wednesday.

Freeport needed to upset Falmouth in its finale Tuesday to make the playoffs for the 11th time in 12 years. The Falcons lost at Yarmouth, 14-4, last Wednesday, but won at Lake Region, 7-1, Friday, to improve to 6-5.

Girls’ lacrosse

Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team will be the top seed in Eastern Class B. The Clippers continued their challenging, but triumphant campaign last week with impressive wins at Falmouth (13-8) and Greely (17-8). Senior standout Danielle Torres returned from injury with three second half goals at the Yachtsmen and senior Natalie Salmon erupted for six goals at the Rangers. Yarmouth closed at home with a possible state final preview versus Waynflete Wednesday night (see theforecaster.net for game story).

NYA has been decimated by the loss of several players, but will remain the No. 2 team in Eastern B. Last week, The Panthers lost at home to Waynflete (17-4) and at Cape Elizabeth (10-6) to drop to 4-7. NYA closed at home against Falmouth Tuesday.

Freeport won’t make the playoffs this year, but had a chance to finish .500 when it went to Wells for the finale Tuesday. Last week, the Falcons fell to 5-6 (fifth in Eastern B, where just four teams qualify) after a 10-7 home setback to York (Aubrey Pennell had three goals in defeat).

In Western B, Falmouth appears bound for the No. 2 seed behind Waynflete. The Yachtsmen fell to 6-5 with a 13-8 home loss to Yarmouth last Wednesday. They closed at NYA Tuesday.

Greely continued its resurgent season last week with a 13-2 win at Fryeburg and a 17-8 home loss to Yarmouth. The Rangers (6-5 and fourth in Western B) closed at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

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

Sidebar Elements


Yarmouth senior Joey King slides around Greely junior catcher Pete Stauber to score a pivotal run in the Clippers’ 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Rangers last week.

Yarmouth junior goalie Alex Kurtz was the center of attention Friday night. Kurtz made 20 saves, many of them memorable, but it wasn’t enough as the Clippers suffered a 6-2 home loss to Cape Elizabeth.

NYA freshman goalie Nikolle Storey looks to make a save during last week’s loss to Waynflete. After several players were suspended for a post-Prom party, Storey and many other untested players stepped up against one of the top teams in the state.

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