Sunday, August 14

Portland: Midway point nears as spring sports season heats up


The weather is just starting to cooperate and the spring sports season is chugging along.

The season is short and sweet, however, and some teams have already played half or more of the games on their regular season schedule.

The upcoming action will only grow in importance, and we’re just a few weeks away from the start of the playoffs.

With all of that in mind, here’s a glimpse where local teams stand:

Baseball

Portland pitcher Sam Payne delivers a strike during last week’s loss at South Portland. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Cheverus’ baseball team lost its first three outings, then got in the win column twice last week, downing visiting Bonny Eagle (9-1) and Noble (10-0). In the victory over the Scots, Richie Tremble threw a two-hitter and went 3-for-4 at the plate. Noah Kennedy-Jensen also had a pair of hits. Against the Knights, Brian Connolly threw a three-hitter, Tremble had two hits and Kennedy-Jensen added two RBI. Saturday, the Stags fell to 2-4 after a 5-1 loss at Kennebunk. Cheverus was at Marshwood Tuesday, hosts Falmouth Thursday (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story), welcomes Sanford Friday and goes to Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

Portland fell to 2-4-1 after losses last week at reigning state champion South Portland (4-0) and at Sanford (9-4). Against the Red Riots, Sam Payne pitched well, but his team couldn’t generate any offense off Red Riots pitcher Nolan Hobbs.

“They’re a state championship team and they know how to play baseball,” said Bulldogs coach Mike Rutherford, of South Portland. “Right now, they’re the class of the league. They throw strikes, they play good defense and get timely hitting. I’m happy we played with them.”

Portland was home with Scarborough Tuesday, welcomes Windham Thursday and hosts Massabesic Saturday. The Bulldogs are at Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

“Obviously, the kids aren’t happy because they want to win every game, but with an open tournament, our goal is to get better defensively and get hot at the right time,” Rutherford said. “I think we’re going to be OK.”

Deering fell to 0-7 after recent losses at Falmouth (8-1) and Thornton Academy (19-0, in five innings). Qwest Newhall had a pair of hits against the Navigators. The Rams were at Windham Tuesday, host Westbrook Thursday and welcome Bonny Eagle Saturday.

The Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op team was 4-2 after winning at Traip Academy (4-0) and losing at St. Dom’s (5-2) last week. In the victory, Cole Lambert threw a shutout. Waynflete/NYA hosted Old Orchard Beach Monday, welcomes Maranacook Wednesday, visits Sacopee Valley Friday, then plays host Traip Academy Monday of next week. 

Softball

Portland pitcher Sadie Armstrong throws a strike past a Marshwood hitter during the Bulldogs’ 6-5 win last week. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Portland’s softball team improved to 5-0 last Monday with a 6-5 home win over Marshwood. Sadie Armstrong earned the win and had two hits, including a game-tying home run as well as three RBI. Vanessa Connolly also drove in two runs.

“I am surprised we’ve done this well, but it’s a testament to who these girls are,” said Bulldogs coach Jason McLeod. “They’re good teammates and they play really well. The girls have it in their heads to be the best they can possibly be every single game. If they do, good things will happen to us as a team.”

Portland then dropped to 5-2 after losses at Kennebunk (6-3) and at home to Noble (8-2). Armstrong and Ruby Chase both had two hits against the Rams. Armstrong homered in the loss to the Knights. The Bulldogs looked to bounce back Monday at Massabesic. After a trip to Sanford Wednesday, Portland is idle until next Monday when it goes to South Portland.

“Each day, we’re trying to get one percent better than the previous day and if we can continue that mindset, good things will happen,” McLeod said.

Cheverus fell to 1-4 after recent losses at Westbrook (8-7) and at reigning Class A South champion Biddeford (12-2, in six innings). Against the Blue Blazes, Izabella Napolitano Aberle had three hits. The Stags hosted Windham Monday, welcome Bonny Eagle Friday, play host to Falmouth Monday of next week and host Thornton Academy next Tuesday.

Deering dropped to 0-6 after falling at Thornton Academy and Windham by 14-0 scores in five innings and at home to South Portland (29-2, in five innings). The Rams were home with Westbrook Monday, go to Bonny Eagle Wednesday and host Biddeford Saturday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Portland’s Nicholas Walsh defends Oak Hill/Lisbon/Monmouth’s Tiger Hopkins during a recent loss. Andree Kehn / Sun Journal

Waynflete’s reigning Class C state champion boys’ lacrosse team fell to 2-3 after Saturday’s 13-1 loss at Class A South contender South Portland. The Flyers hosted Lake Region Tuesday, then welcome Windham Saturday and Traip Academy Tuesday of next week.

Portland dropped to 2-3 after losses last week to visiting Gorham (9-4) and at Oak Hill (13-9). Carlos Braceras scored three times against Oak Hill. The Bulldogs were at Bangor Monday and host reigning Class A North champion Falmouth Wednesday.

Cheverus fell to 2-3 after a 14-3 home loss to Biddeford last week. The Stags looked to even their record at home versus Cony Monday, visit Noble Wednesday, then play at Deering Tuesday of next week.

Deering dropped to 0-4 after last week’s 18-3 home loss to South Portland. After visiting Biddeford Tuesday, the Rams are home versus Fryeburg Academy Friday and against Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ lacrosse

Waynflete sophomore Tilsley Kelly (21) and senior Jesse Connors hound Portland junior Eliza Stein during the Flyers’ 16-1 win Saturday. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Waynflete’s reigning Class C champion girls’ lacrosse team improved to 4-1 and stretched its win streak to four games after downing visiting Traip Academy (15-6) and Portland (16-1) last week. Against the Rangers, Jesse Connors paced a balanced attack with three goals, while Lydia Birknes, Skylar Harris, Sasha Melnick and Lollie Millspaugh all had two. In the win over the Bulldogs, Connors tied her career high with six goals, while Millspaugh and Tilsley Kelly added four apiece.

“We had a really good practice the day before and everything clicked for us today,” Connors said. “I feel like today’s the first time it’s all come together.”

“I’m just ready to have a good senior season and I’ve been working hard,” Millspaugh said.

“I’m just so proud of the girls,” added longtime coach Cathie Connors. “It’s coming together. I feel like we’ve come a long way. We’ve gotten used to each other. We talk to each other more, trust each other more and we’re taking some risks.”

Waynflete goes to red-hot Greely, a Class B state finalist a year ago, Wednesday, then hosts Freeport Friday in a rematch of last year’s Class C state final (see theforecaster.net/sports for game story).

“Those will be great games for us,” Cathie Connors said. “I feel like today was a turning point as far as connecting, but we still have a few more things to work on.”

Cheverus, which has shown great improvement this season, was 5-2 at press time following a 14-7 home loss to reigning Class A North champion Falmouth and a 9-6 home victory over Gorham. Riley O’Mara scored five times in the win. The Stags visit Windham Thursday.

Deering fell to 1-4 after losses last week at Windham (14-2) and Cony (13-4). The Rams hosted Biddeford Tuesday and go to Portland Friday.

Portland fell to 1-5 after losses last week at South Portland (12-5) and Waynflete (16-1). Eliza Stein had the lone goal versus the Flyers. The Bulldogs play host to Deering Friday.

Outdoor track

On the track, Portland’s boys and girls swept Sanford and Bonny Eagle in a meet at Fitzpatrick Stadium last week.

Cheverus joined Westbrook and Windham for a meet at Massabesic last week. The Stags boys and girls both placed third.

Deering joined Biddeford for a meet at South Portland. The Rams girls were first and the boys came in third.

Tennis

Waynflete’s 13-time Class C state champion boys’ tennis team improved to 3-2 Friday with a 5-0 win over Lake Region. The Flyers hosted defending Class B champion Yarmouth Tuesday.

Waynflete’s girls improved to 2-3 Friday with a 5-0 win over Lake Region. The Flyers have key matches this week versus Yarmouth and Greely.

The Portland boys were 5-2 entering Monday’s match at Gorham. The Bulldogs blanked Bonny Eagle last week. Portland has a crucial match at South Portland Thursday.

The Bulldogs girls fell to 1-6 after a 5-0 loss to reigning Class A South champion Falmouth Friday. Portland was home versus Gorham Monday.

Deering’s boys fell from the unbeaten ranks Friday, falling to 3-1 after a 3-2 loss to Cheverus. The Rams were at Scarborough Tuesday.

Deering’s girls fell to 0-6 after losses last week to South Portland (5-0) and Cheverus (4-1). The Rams hosted Scarborough Tuesday.

Cheverus’ boys improved to 4-2 after beating Bonny Eagle (5-0) and Deering (3-2) last week. The Stags welcomed South Portland Tuesday.

Cheverus’ girls were also 4-2 after downing Bonny Eagle and Deering last week by 4-1 scores. The Stags were at South Portland Tuesday.

Portland’s Jenna Lederer advanced in the Region 5 girls’ single tournament. She’ll be the No. 5 seed.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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