Tennis playoffs underway; Baseball, softball, lacrosse up next

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The postseason is already underway in track (see story) and tennis and now it’s baseball, softball and lacrosse’s turn to follow suit.

The regular season for the sports was winding up at press time and playoff excitement is right around the corner.

Here’s a glimpse:

Tennis

Six area tennis players took part in the late stages of the singles tournament.

Cape Elizabeth’s Michael Mills, ranked sixth in the boys’ draw, downed Windham’s Jordan Crowley (6-3, 6-4) in the second round, then lost to No. 11 Tristan Rother of Fryeburg Academy in the round of 16 (2-6, 6-4, 2-6).

Cape Elizabeth’s Luke Gilman, ranked 10th, ousted Falmouth’s Peter Stegemann (6-0, 6-1) in the second round, then was eliminated by No. 7 Victor Menezes of Thornton Academy (5-7, 3-6).

Cape Elizabeth’s Ethan Murphy won his first round match, 6-0, 6-0, over Orono’s Ryan Wells, then lost to Fernando Cecares of Foxcroft Academy, 3-6, 0-6, in the second round.

Waynflete’s Isaac Salas went on to win the championship.

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth’s Liv Clifford, ranked seventh, was a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Caribou’s Gabrielle Marquis in the second round, then lost to No. 10 Caroline Ray of Falmouth, 6-7 (0), 4-6, in the round of 16. 

Scarborough’s Megan Nathanson was a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner over Waynflete’s Lexi Epstein in the second round, then was eliminated by No. 4 Julia Brogan, an eventual semifinalist, 0-6, 1-6, in the round of 16.

Cape Elizabeth’s Katie Gilman was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Lucinda Wingert of PCHS in the first round, then lost, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, to No. 9 Meridith Blessard of Mattanawcook Academy.

Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt went on to win the title for the third year in a row.

The team tournament is underway and champions will be crowned in a little over a week.

Cape Elizabeth’s defending Class B boys’ state champion wound up second in Western B with a 9-3 record and hosted No. 7 Greely (4-8) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The Capers beat the visiting Rangers, 5-0, May 4.

In Western A, Scarborough wound up sixth with an 8-4 mark. The Red Storm blanked No. 11 Kennebunk in Tuesday’s preliminary round, 5-0 to earn a date with No. 3 Falmouth (11-1), the defending state champion, in the quarterfinals.

South Portland went 7-5, its best record since 2009, and wound up eighth. The Red Riots hosted No. 9 Gorham (7-5) in the preliminary round Wednesday (after this edition went to press). South Portland won the regular season meeting, 3-2, May 4. If victorious, the Red Riots went to No. 1 Thornton Academy (12-0) for the quarterfinals. South Portland lost, 4-1, at the Golden Trojans April 29.

On the girls’ side, Scarborough went 11-1 and earned the No. 4 seed in Western A. The Red Storm hosted No. 5 Thornton Academy (10-3) in the quarterfinals. Scarborough beat the visiting Golden Trojans, 3-2, May 26. 

South Portland earned the No. 11 seed after a 4-8 season and played a preliminary round match at No. 6 Gorham (9-3) Tuesday. The Red Riots lost, 5-0, and finished 4-9.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth went 9-3 in the regular season and earned the No. 3 seed. The Capers hosted No. 6 Yarmouth (6-6) in the quarterfinals. Cape Elizabeth beat the visiting Clippers, 4-1, May 26. 

The playoffs continue with the semifinals Saturday, on the courts of the higher seeds. The Western A and B Finals are Thursday, June 11 at Bates College in Lewiston. The state championship matches are Saturday, June 13, at Bates.

Baseball

Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team had moved up to third in the Western Class B Heal Points standings by press time after downing visiting Falmouth (3-1) and Wells (6-1) last week. Marshall Peterson threw a four-hitter against the Yachtsmen and Dylan Roberts had a pair of hits. In the win over the Warriors, Bryce Hewitt earned his first victory and Tim Brigham singled and doubled. The 10-5 Capers were scheduled to visit defending Class B champion Greely Monday, but that game was rained out and rescheduled for Wednesday.

In Western A, South Portland was 12-3 and a close second to Marshwood in the Heals entering its finale Wednesday at Gorham. Last week, the Red Riots snapped a two-game skid by blanking host Scarborough (1-0) and visiting Massabesic (2-0). Against the Red Storm, Sam Troiano scored the only run when he was hit by Sam Warren’s pitch to start the game, stole second, moved to third on an error and scored on Matt Beecher’s ground out. Ace Henry Curran wasn’t as overpowering as in other outings, but he still threw a two-hitter and struck out six.

“This puts those losses behind us,” Sam Troiano said. “We hope to be number one. I think we can make a run.”

“I didn’t think it would be 1-0,” Curran said. “I thought we’d get our hitting together, but 1-0 is a win and we’ll take it. This is definitely big for us to get our mindset back into it.”

“This was big,” added South Portland coach Mike Owens. “We’re grinding a little. We weren’t great at the plate again today, but when you have Henry on the mound, you have a stopper. What better way to stop a losing streak than have his turn come up?”

Scarborough’s scoreless inning streak hit 20 in the loss to the Red Riots and Warren was the hard-luck loser, but coach Ryan Jones was encouraged by his team’s effort.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’re not losing by much,” said Scarborough coach Ryan Jones. “We competed for seven innings tonight against the best team and lost by one run. Our compete level was very high. I’ve been really happy with the guys. It would be easy for them to get down in a year where we don’t have a great record, but they haven’t.”

The Red Storm’s persistence was rewarded Saturday with a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Biddeford. Nate Wessel earned the victory after allowing just one hit in five innings of relief and Zach Carreiro went 4-for-4 with a run scored. Scarborough took a 7-8 mark and the No. 14 ranking (only 12 teams qualify for the playoffs) into its finale Wednesday at Thornton Academy, needing a victory to extend its postseason streak to 11 years.

The playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week and the quarterfinal round Thursday, June 11. Those games will be hosted by the higher seeds.

Softball

Scarborough’s powerhouse softball team passed another huge road test last weekend and all but assured another undefeated season and the top seed for the Western Class A playoffs. After dominating visiting Westbrook, 13-0, in five innings, last Thursday (behind a grand slam from Kaleigh Scoville and a two-hit shutout from freshman Chloe Griffin), the Red Storm went to second-ranked Biddeford Saturday morning and effectively ended the game in the top of the first inning.

After a two-run double from Abbie Murrell, Brittany Plowman crushed a home run to make it 4-0. 

“That was great,” Plowman said, of her first high school home run. “You come home and it’s like your whole family is waiting for you. It’s the best feeling.”

Chloe Gorey added a two-run hit and an error added a seventh run. Ace Lilly Volk slammed the door from there, allowing just run one on three hits while driving in two more runs and Scarborough romped, 9-1.

“We know we’ve worked hard all season and this win will feel so good on the bus ride home,” Volk said.

“These games are important,” longtime Red Storm coach Tom Griffin said. “If you don’t have these opportunities in the regular season and you get in the playoffs, you might not respond.”

Scarborough 15-0 and first in Western A closed the regular season Wednesday at home against Portland.

South Portland improved to 10-5 and fifth in Western A following a 6-3 home win over Gorham last Friday. Paige Carter had two hits and two RBI, Abby Young had two hits and three runs scored and Sarah Micucci added a pair of hits. The Red Riots finished Thursday at Bonny Eagle.

In Western B, Cape Elizabeth was 8-7 and ninth in the standings (10 teams make the playoffs) entering Wednesday’s finale at top-ranked Greely. Last week, the Capers lost at home to Falmouth (4-2) and beat visiting Wells (7-6). Tess Haller’s double drove in the winning run against the Warriors. Ashley Tinsman had two hits. 

The playoffs begin with the preliminary round Tuesday of next week and the quarterfinal round Thursday, June 11. Those games will be hosted by the higher seeds.

Boys’ lacrosse

The end of the boys’ lacrosse regular season didn’t come quietly, as all three local squads squared off against fierce rivals.

Two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth finished its regular year Tuesday night at home against rival Falmouth. The Capers were coming off decisive wins at North Yarmouth Academy (18-2) and Yarmouth (14-5). Cape Elizabeth erupted for eight fourth quarter goals to pull away from the Clippers. Owen Thoreck had three goals, J Bottomley, Cole Caswell and Connor Thoreck had two apiece and goalie Alex Narvaez had his best effort, stopping 13 shots.

“The first half went as I expected, but I wasn’t expecting the second half at all,” Narvaez said. “That was out of the blue.”

“I think once we get momentum, we build on that,” Bottomley said. “Everyone on the sidelines gets excited and we feed off the positive energy.”

“We had a good fourth quarter,” Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond added. “We found good matchups in the fourth quarter that worked better for us and the kids worked harder off the ball. We developed the offense as the game went on. Hopefully we can not wait so long in the future.”

Tuesday against Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth shot to a 4-0 lead and was up, 7-3, midway through the third period when the Yachtsmen roared back and outscored the Capers 8-2 the rest of way for a stunning 11-9 triumph at Hannaford Field on Cape Elizabeth’s Senior Night. Griffin Thoreck had four goals, but it wasn’t enough.

“We took some penalties and we didn’t do a very good job on ground balls,” Raymond said. “The attitude crept in that they couldn’t catch us and we’d be number one no matter what.”

Cape Elizabeth finished 10-2 and will be the number one seed in Western B. The Capers will have a bye into the semifinals.

Defending Class A champion South Portland hosted perennial powerhouse Scarborough Wednesday in the teams’ mutual finale (see theforecaster.net for full coverage).

The Red Riots improved to 10-1 last Wednesday with a 25-4 home romp over Massabesic. Jack Fiorini had five goals and Andrew Whipple added three. South Portland was second to Thornton Academy entering its finale, but likely would end up first with a victory.

Scarborough stretched its win streak to five with wins at Gorham (8-3) and at home over Biddeford (14-3) last week. Braeden Kane had four goals versus the Rams. Scarborough took an 8-3 mark and the No. 3 ranking into its game at South Portland. 

The boys’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday of next week with the quarterfinal round on the fields of the higher seeds. The semifinals are Saturday, June 13, also on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, South Portland stretched its win streak to six games last Friday with a 10-6 home victory over Windham. Maddie Hasson and Aimee LaPlante both scored three times. Saturday, the Red Riots’ luck ran out and they fell to 7-4 and sixth in the Western Class A Heals after an 8-5 loss at defending Class A champion Massabesic. South Portland closed at home against Noble Wednesday.

Scarborough closed the regular season on a four-game surge, downing visiting Westbrook (23-7) and winning at Biddeford (13-6). Kaitlin Prince had four goals against the Tigers. The Red Storm finished 8-4 and were ranked fourth in the Western A Heals at press time.

In Western B, defending regional champion Cape Elizabeth somewhat avenged last year’s state game loss when it went to Yarmouth last Friday and downed the Clippers, 10-8. Mariah Deschino had three goals, while Kirsten Rudberg and Lindsay Stewart added two apiece and goalie Kate Bosworth stopped a dozen shots.

“I had kind of an awkward huddle at the beginning when I had everyone come in and I said, ‘I know some of you weren’t here last year, but they killed us in the state game,'” Bosworth said. “It was definitely on my mind. They scored 13 goals on me last year. I was totally fired up. We came out and got them back.”

“It speaks well for our teamwork and ability to persevere that we don’t get down ourselves when teams start to come back,” Stewart said.

“It was a nice win,” added Cape Elizabeth first-year coach Alex Spark. “It was a fantastic game on both ends. The girls told me how they felt embarrassed last year. They came out ready to prove that they were the better team.”

For some baffling scheduling reason, the Capers then had to turn around and go to Marshwood Saturday morning and lost to one of the top teams in Western A, 12-5, to fall to 7-4 and fourth in Western B. Wednesday, Cape Elizabeth hosted the top team in Western B, Falmouth, in the regular season finale (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Capers handed the Yachtsmen their lone loss of the season, 7-6, at Falmouth back on May 6.

The girls’ lacrosse playoffs begin Wednesday of next week with the quarterfinal round on the fields of the higher seeds. The semifinals are Saturday, June 13, also on the fields of the higher seeds.

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

Sidebar Elements


South Portland’s Sam Troiano steals second as Scarborough’s Nick Lorello takes the throw during the Red Riots’ 1-0 win last week.

Scarborough’s Maggie Murphy makes contact during the Red Storm’s surprisingly easy 9-1 win at Biddeford Saturday.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates its 10-8 win at Yarmouth last Friday in a rematch of last year’s Class B Final.

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