Coaches often can point to a particular moment when their players start to click. For Falmouth High’s softball team, it came in a 4-3 loss to Lake Region on May 7.

In that game, the Yachtsmen scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a double by Elizabeth Walker and had the winning run on base. “If we got a hit, we win, the game’s over,” said Coach John Keyes.

Well, the hit didn’t come and Falmouth dropped to 1-4. But the Yachtsmen won their next four games before losing to top-ranked Fryeburg Academy on Tuesday to get back into the Western Class B playoff race.

At 5-5, Falmouth holds the final playoff berth in the region, in 12th place.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’ve been playing well all year,” said Keyes, noting other close losses to Cape Elizabeth and Gray-New Gloucester. “It’s been exciting. We have only three players back (from 2011), all the pitchers are new, but we’ve been playing well.”

In the four-game win streak, Keyes said, “We’re not making the mental errors that we did at the beginning of the year. The kids are playing better; they’re thinking now. It’s exciting.”

There are two other factors in Falmouth’s surge. Team captains Maddie Inlow, Allie Carver and Ashley Collins have provided exceptional leadership. And Inlow and Carver are really hitting the ball.

Early in the season, Inlow and Carver — the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters — were leaving runners on. Over the last six games, said Keyes, Carver is hitting .354, Inlow .404.

And their leadership is outstanding. In Falmouth’s 12-9 win over Yarmouth on Monday, the captains brought the team together before the last inning to make sure everyone knew what was at stake.

“We went out and had a perfect inning,” said Keyes. “The kids will listen to kids. I have a lot of faith in them.” 

MO HANNAN returned to Scarborough’s lineup Monday. And it was as if she hadn’t missed a beat.

Hannan, the senior pitcher/shortstop, missed five games with mononucleosis.

She returned against McAuley with a pair of hits, including a triple in her last at-bat of an 11-0 win.

“She looked like she had some energy,” said Coach Tom Griffin of the Red Storm (12-0). “We survived quite nicely without her but she brings a lot more life onto the field. She’s another solid hitter in our lineup with a lot more experience. It’s good to have her back.

“She brings a lot of fun to the team and that’s such a big part of it. She’s a great presence, her love of the game and spirit of the game. She’s still not 100 percent but she looked good. We’ll ease her back into pitching and hopefully she’ll find her way.” 

SOUTH PORTLAND’S players are wearing purple ribbons in their hair this year, a tribute to the late mother of Coach Ralph Aceto.

Shirley Aceto died last November at the age of 77 after a fight with cancer.

Pitcher Erin Bogdanovich, shortstop Danica Gleason and third baseman Libby Grant wanted to do something to honor her, so they decided to wear purple ribbons. The players made them — “A great team bonding experience,” said Bogdanovich — and then put them on in a team meeting behind the dugout just minutes before the first game of the season.

“It means a lot to me that they thought that much of her,” said Aceto, “and it probably means more to my dad (Ralph Sr.).” 

A BIG WIN by Biddeford on Monday as the Tigers beat Westbrook, 3-2. The Tigers scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Alyssa Baldino singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Brianna Laverriere, who scored on a single by Alex Quigley.

It was a big win because No. 6 Biddeford (5-5) and No. 9 Westbrook are among six teams competing for playoff positioning in the final six Western Class A spots.

“We started 1-4,” said Tigers Coach Leon Paquin. “We played the top teams, took a spanking but we didn’t fall apart. The kids stayed strong and stayed together.” 

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

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH