STANDISH – Mo Hannan and her Scarborough High softball teammates waited a year for this game. And they weren’t going to let it slip away.

Hannan, the Red Storm’s junior pitcher, was dominant Wednesday night as second-ranked Scarborough ended South Portland’s one-year reign as Class A softball champion.

Hannan allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out 11 and also scored the game’s only run in the top of the first inning as Scarborough edged top-ranked South Portland 1-0 at St. Joseph College’s Richard Bailey Field.

“She’s a tiger,” said Tom Griffin, coach of the Red Storm. “An absolute tiger. She wants the ball in her hand, she wants the big moment. She’s a special, special kid.”

Scarborough (18-1) will play Messalonskee (16-3) in the Class A state championship game at Cony High at noon Saturday.

A year ago, the roles were reversed in the regional final: Scarborough was the defending champ and favorite, and South Portland was the underdog with nothing to lose. And the Riots beat Scarborough.

“I knew the feeling (of losing) from last year,” said Hannan. “I did not want to experience that again.”

Hannan started things off quickly. Leading off the game, she dropped an 0-2 pitch into right field, where the ball skidded past the right fielder. Hannan never hesitated in going to third.

Dominique Burnham followed with a ground ball to second and Hannan raced home with the run that gave the Red Storm the lead.

“We needed to play aggressive in everything we did,” said Griffin. “And that’s what we did today.”

That included defensively. The Riots have one of the deepest lineups in the state, but Hannan never let them get untracked. And when they did, Scarborough’s defense came through.

The Riots’ best chance came in the fourth inning. Danica Gleason led off with a single and stole second. She went to third when Katlin Norton grounded to second, with Scarborough’s Lauren Aceto — “She played the game of her life,” said Griffin — fielding the ball, then diving to tag first base before Norton.

Alexis Bogdanovich, who matched Hannan pitch-for-pitch (striking out 11 and allowing just six hits), then hit a grounder to shortstop Marisa O’Toole. O’Toole never hesitated in throwing home to catcher Abby Rutt, who blocked the plate and tagged out Gleason.

“I knew I had to do whatever I had to do to stop that run from scoring,” said O’Toole, who is playing with a biceps injury in her right arm. “I was thinking where I was going to go even before the ball was hit. I knew I had to make a good throw.”

Hannan loaded the bases with a hit batter and walk, but got out of the jam with a strikeout.

She struck out six batters over the final three innings, and caught the final out on a popup behind the pitching circle, jumping in the air with the ball to start the celebration.

“My adrenaline was there,” said Hannan. “I knew I had to bring it tonight. Especially those last couple of innings. I knew I had to bear down.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH