Scarborough 10 Gorham 2
G- 110 000 0- 2 4 3
S- 251 020 X- 10 11 0
Murray doubled to left, Biamby scored.
Foley singled to right, Swett scored. Foley scored on error.
DiPhilippo doubled to left, Grant scored.
Gendreau scored on error. Swett flew out to right, Crosby scored. Foley singled to center, Verreault scored. Pizzella doubled to right-center, Saraceno scored. Kemper scored on wild pitch.
Swett reached on bunt single, Verreault scored.
Verreault reached on bunt single, Gendreau scored. Crosby scored on wild pitch.
S- Foley, Gendreau, Pizzella, Verreault
G- Biamby, Grant
S- Crosby, Gendreau, Verreault 2, Foley, Kemper, Saraceno, Swett
G- DiPhilippo, Murray
S- Foley, Swett 2, Verreault
G- DiPhillipo, Murray
S- Pizzella, Verreault
S- Crosby, Gendreau, Swett, Verreault
Left on base:
Bretton, Grant and DiPhilippo; Pizzella and Foley.
Bretton (L) 2 IP 6 H 7 R 4 ER 2 BB 1 K 4 WP
Grant 4 IP 5 H 3 R 3 ER 2 BB 2 K 1 WP
Pizzella (W, 1-0) 7 IP 4 H 2 R 2 ER 1 BB 4 K
SCARBOROUGH—The streak lives.
Make that the streaks.
This was supposed to be the season that Scarborough’s softball team came back to pack, but so far, the Red Storm are doing what they always do.
Thursday afternoon at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex, Scarborough hosted Gorham, one of the many teams viewed as its possible replacement atop the heap, but the Red Storm served up a powerful reminder that the road to the title still goes through them.
The Rams scored a run in the top of the first off Red Storm sophomore starting pitcher Angelina Pizzella, when senior centerfielder Tatyanna Biamby walked on four pitches, stole second and scored on a bloop double from senior shortstop Molly Murray.
Scarborough roared right back in its half of the inning against Gorham freshman starter Amber Bretton, tying it up on a single from senior catcher Sylvia Foley, then going ahead on an error.
The Rams tied it in the top of the second on a two-out double from freshman catcher Sophia DiPhilippo, but Gorham wouldn’t register another hit until the seventh.
In the bottom of the second, the Red Storm broke it open, as one run scored on an error, another on a sacrifice fly, Foley singled in a run, Pizzella helped herself with an RBI double and another run scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-2.
With Pizzella holding the Rams at bay, Scarborough made it 8-2 in the third, when senior shortstop Mollie Verreault doubled, was wild pitched to third and scored on a bunt single from senior centerfielder A.J. Swett.
The Red Storm completed their scoring in the fifth, as Verreault drove in a run with a bunt single and another run-scoring wild pitch made it 10-2.
Pizzella threw a four-hitter, four different players had multiple hits and Scarborough improved to 3-0 on the season, won its 63rd consecutive game overall, its 108th in a row in regular season league play and its 475th under longtime coach Tom Griffin, while dropping Gorham to 3-1 in the process.
“We’ve got a lot to prove this year,” Griffin said. “We have a chip on our shoulders. Everyone wants to knock us off. The kids are determined that it doesn’t happen.”
Gorham was highly touted entering the season and put on its hitting shoes in opening wins over Westbrook (14-8), Bonny Eagle (10-8) and South Portland (11-8).
Scarborough, meanwhile, has been up to its usual tricks, dominating Deering in the opener, 20-0 (in five-innings), then downing visiting Portland, 5-1, last Tuesday.
The Red Storm, who were sidelined for much of the preseason due to quarantine, then had consecutive games postponed by rain, including the originally scheduled contest vs. Gorham last Friday.
In the teams’ last meeting, April 24, 2019, the Red Storm cruised to a 14-0 victory at the Rams.
Thursday, on a beautiful 65-degree day, with a strong win blowing in, Gorham looked to beat Scarborough for the first time since May 24, 2002 (8-0 at home), but instead, the Red Storm did just about everything right.
The Rms got off to a fast start, as Biamby walked on four pitches, stole second and Murray blooped a double down the leftifeld line for a quick 1-0 lead. Pizzella then settled down and fanned freshman first baseman Andria Cloutier, got junior third baseman Ambrosia Moore to bounce back to the mound, with Murray taking third, then got Bretton to ground to Verreault at short, who made a terrific stab in the hole, then threw out Bretton on a bang-bang play to retire the side and keep the score 1-0.
Scarborough quickly answered with a pair of runs.
Verreault led off by flying out to right, but Swett walked and stole second and came home with the tying run when Foley singled to to right. Bretton threw a wild pitch to move Foley to second and junior first baseman Katie Roy followed with a sharp ground ball to senior second baseman Morgan Roast and the ball got through Roast for an error and Foley came home with the go-ahead run. After Pizzella followed with a single, Bretton ended further damage by getting junior third baseman Madison Russo to chase strike three and senior designated player Jenna Giguere to fly out to center.
Leading off the top of the second, Roast singled up the middle on an 0-2 pitch. She was erased when sophomore leftfielder Kaci Mollison grounded into a third-to-second force out. Junior Riley Grant, the designated player, was next and she too hit into a force out, Verreault to freshman Samantha Cote at second, but DiPhilippo came up big with two down, doubling over the head of junior leftfielder Calynn Gendreau to tie the score, 2-2. Biamby then grounded out to short to end the frame.
That was as good as it got for Gorham, as in the bottom of the second, the Red Storm pushed across five runs.
Gendreau got things started by ripping a double down the rightfield line on the first pitch she saw. Senior Jordan Crosby then walked on a 3-2 pitch and stole second. Verreault then slapped the ball down the third base line and Moore tried to backhand the ball, but she came up empty and Gendreau came home to put Scarborough ahead for good with Crosby taking third and Verreault moving to second. Swett then crushed a pitch to right, but it was caught for an out and Crosby came home on the sacrifice fly with Verreault taking third. Foley then lined a shot up the middle that Bretton got a piece of with her glove but couldn’t stop and Verreault scored to make it 5-2.
Senior Anna Saraceno came on to run for Foley and she took second on a wild pitch, went to third when Roy grounded out to first and Pizzella then came up huge with an RBI double to right-center. Jamie Kemper ran for Pizzzella and she moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when another pitch got away. Russo reached on an error and Giguere singled to center, but Gendreau, who had started the half-inning some 20 minutes before, grounded out to third to finally end it with the Red Storm in command, up, 7-2.
Pizzella then settled in and retired the Rams in order in the top of the third, getting Murray to bunt to Russo, who threw just in time to Cote covering the bag, Cloutier to chase strike three and Moore to ground out to third.
Grant came on to replace Bretton in the bottom half (Bretton moved to rightfield) and she got Crosby to watch strike three leading off, but Verreault doubled to right-center when Bretton lost the ball in the sun. Verreault moved to third on a wild pitch, then Swett laid down a bunt and beat it out for an RBI single. Foley followed with a pop fly to left that Mollison dropped, but Mollison recovered and threw to second for the force out. Roy then hit the ball hard, but it was right at Biamby in center for the third out and Scarborough had an 8-2 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, Pizzella got Bretton to pop out to short on the first pitch, Roast to chase strike three and Mollison to ground out to short.
The Red Storm went quietly in the bottom half, as Pizzella lined out to Moore at third, who made a terrific stab, Russo grounded out to third and Giguere flew out to center.
In the top of the fifth, Gorham couldn’t rally, as Grant lined out to center on a 3-2 pitch, DiPhilippo bounced back to Pizzella and Biamby hit a line drive that Pizzella snared to retire the side.
“I was pretty nervous at first, my first game starting,” Pizzella said. “I got my jitters out and I felt really good. I got my confidence back.”
In the bottom half, Scarborough tacked on two more runs.
Gendreau led off with a single to right-center and stole second base. She took third when Crosby singled to left. Verreault then laid down a bunt to score Gendreau and Verreault beat the throw for an infield single putting runners at the corners. Verreault stole second and Swett walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Crosby, but the Red Storm wouldn’t score again, as Foley flew out to left, Roy chased strike three and Pizzella lined deep to left where Mollison made a terrific driving catch to retire the side with the Red Storm ahead, 10-2.
Scarborough flashed its defense in the top of the sixth, as Cote threw out Murray on a bang-bang play, Russo made a terrific stab before throwing out Cloutier and Moore grounded out to short.
“We work every practice on defense,” Verreault said. “That’s what wins games.”
“We understand just how good a defensive team we can be,” Griffin said. “We’ve got speed everywhere and we have good defensive players. In big games, defense makes the difference and we want to pride ourselves on defense and hopefully we can separate ourselves from some teams defensively because there are a lot of good hitting teams and good pitching in this league.”
In the bottom of the inning, junior pinch-hitter Morgan Scoville walked on a 3-2 pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Giguere. Junior Gabby Giftos then pinch-hit, but she popped out to short and Crosby bounced out to second for the third out.
Pizzella then closed it out in the top of the seventh.
She struck out Bretton leading off, then got Roast to ground out to third, where Russo made another nice stab. Mollison ended Pizzella’s streak of 15 consecutive outs with a bunt single, but Grant bounced back to Pizzella to finish off Scarborough’s 10-2 victory.
“People were expecting us to be not as good as we’ve been in the past because we lost a couple key players, but we have underclassmen coming up who are playing well,” Verreault said. “We have a solid lineup. We are determined to win. We want to keep our streak going.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled the what the kids accomplished today,” Griffin said. “We’ve had a couple weeks of great practices and I told (the girls) if we could start seeing some of the things we’ve seen in practice executed in the field, we’d be successful and that’s exactly what happened. The kids knew they’ve been improving and working hard.
“We didn’t know where we stood. We knew this would be a bigger test for us. We felt like we could put ourselves in the upper echelon of the top three or four teams in the league. I think we made that statement today that we have the potential to be there.”
The Red Storm’s offense featured two hits apiece from Foley, Gendreau, Pizzella and Verreault.
Crosby, Gendreau and Verreault all scored twice, while Foley, Kemper, Saraceno and Swett also touched home.
Foley and Swett had two RBI apiece, while Verreault also drove in a run.
“We’ve got strength all the way through the lineup,” Griffin said. “We’re more than nine deep. We came up with big hits today. We feel like we have a complete lineup.”
Crosby, Gendreau, Swett and Verreault all stole bases.
Scarborough stranded seven runners.
Pizzella was a revelation on the mound, as her starting debut was memorable. Pizzella allowed just two runs and four hits in seven innings. She walked one and struck out four.
“My turnover drop hasn’t worked that well in a long time and my change-up really was working well,” Pizzella said. “My defense boosted my confidence. I couldn’t be happier with my team behind me. I’ve worked so hard for this and I can’t even describe how happy I am to be here today. ”
“Angelina killed it,” said Verreault. “She just threw strikes. Her movement was crazy. I’m very proud of her.”
“(Angelina’s) just built confidence,” Griffin added. “She understands the defense will be there and she didn’t have to strike everyone out or do it by herself. The movement of some of her pitches was outstanding. I’ve never seen a kid more dedicated to getting into shape. In the last two years, preparing for this moment, she’s lost over 100 pounds. There aren’t many kids as dedicated as her. She’s waited two years for this opportunity and she deserves everything she got today.”
Gorham got runs from Biamby and Grant and RBI from DiPhilippo and Murray, who also stole bases.
The Rams left two runners on.
Bretton took the loss, giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits in two innings. She walked two and fanned one.
Grant pitched four innings of relief and surrendered three earned runs on five hits, walking two and striking out two others.
“It was tough,” said Gorham coach Phil McGouldrick. “As coaches, we made the game bigger than it should have been and the kids made uncharacteristic mistakes they don’t usually make. The kids were pressing, trying to get it all back in one swing.”
Lots of challenges
Gorham has back-to-back games versus Windham upcoming, Friday at home and Monday on the road. Powerhouse Biddeford then pays a visit next Wednesday.
“We’re so young,” McGouldrick said. “We start six freshmen and sophomores. We’re extremely talented and hard-working. We’ll get ready. We’ll learn from this and get better. I told the girls it’s a good early-season loss that will fire us up. We hope to see them again.”
As for Scarborough, it plays a doubleheader at Westbrook Saturday, visits Falmouth for a makeup game Monday, then travels to Cheverus Wednesday, before the heavy lifting returns with a doubleheader against Thornton Academy and home games against South Portland, Biddeford (a doubleheader) and Windham.
“We have to keep the energy up every game and we’ll keep it going,” Verreault said.
“We just have to keep working hard, it’s as simply as that,” said Pizzella. “We just want to be able to play.”
“There’s some really good teams in this league that we haven’t faced yet,” Griffin added. “Biddeford’s probably the team to beat at this point. Thornton Academy played Biddeford close, so I’m curious about them. Windham is strong too.
“We don’t expect to go undefeated, but we expect to play hard every day and give ourselves a chance to win.”