SCARBOROUGH – One swing.

Sometimes that’s all it takes. To change momentum. To win a game.

Monday night, it was Dominique Burnham who took that swing, making Scarborough the only unbeaten team left in Western Class A softball.

Burnham, a sophomore right fielder, hit a grand slam to cap a five-run fifth inning as the Red Storm turned back top-ranked South Portland 5-0 before a crowd of about 500 in what could be a preview of things to come.

The victory lifted the defending Class A state champions to 9-0, while South Portland dropped to 10-1.

“That’s a pretty good team,” Burnham said of South Portland. “For us to beat them now we know we can beat anyone as long as we play like we can, as a team.”

It was a marvelously played game, with both pitchers — Scarborough’s Melissa Dellatorre and South Portland’s Alexis Bogdanovich — getting key outs when needed. Both allowed only four hits. Dellatorre struck out nine and walked one; Bogdanovich struck out eight and walked three.

It came down to one inning — the fifth.

South Portland threatened with two outs when Erin Bogdanovich singled, stole second and went to third on an errant throw. But Dellatorre got out of it with a strikeout, high-fiving catcher Heather Carrier in a rare display of emotion.

Then in the bottom half, Scarbor-ough broke through.

Alana Peoples led off with a single, a high pop that landed in the infield. “Put it on the coach,” said South Portland Coach Ralph Aceto. “The coach was the one who yelled on the fly ball for someone he shouldn’t have.”

Marissa O’Toole followed with a 10-pitch walk. Jenn Colpitts reached on a fielder’s choice, as Peoples was forced out at third. Then Carrier lined a single to center, loading the bases.

After Bogdanovich got the second out, she hit Abby Rutt with an inside pitch on the foot, scoring O’Toole. Then Burnham, who had a single in the fourth, turned on the first pitch she saw — a high, inside fastball. She sent a towering drive over the left-field fence, and Scarborough’s base runners practically danced home.

“I wasn’t sure it was out,” Burnham said of her first-ever home run. “I knew I hit it well, but I wasn’t sure it would stay fair. But once I hit first base, I knew. It was awesome.”

Aceto wasn’t sure it was out, either. “When she hit it, I thought my left fielder was going to have a chance to make a play on it,” he said. “Then the thing kept going and I said, ‘Whoa.’ “

Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin was confident that Burnham would come through in that situation. “That kid’s as tough as nails,” he said. “She always puts the ball in play and gives herself a chance. I call her our professional hitter. She works at it all year. She really knows how to hit.

“I’ve never had anyone put in as much time as she does on hitting.”

Dellatorre set down the final six South Portland batters.

“That’s a good club,” Aceto said. “Like any kid, they make (the game) bigger than it is. But this is midseason, it’s learning. And Tommy and I both believe we’re going to see each other again later.”

 

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]