BIDDEFORD – The expectations for South Portland High’s softball team probably weren’t as high this year as they have been in the past. Maybe it’s time to readjust them.

The second-ranked Red Riots won their 10th consecutive game Monday afternoon, pounding previously-streaking Biddeford 18-1 in a game called after six innings because of the 12-run rule. Junior shortstop Danica Gleason led a 14-hit offense by going 5 for 5 with five RBI and four runs scored.

“We just got up on them early and got our confidence going,” said Gleason, regarded as one of the slickest fielding shortstops around. “Once people get on base, everyone wants an RBI. It just makes everyone more aggressive.”

South Portland improved to 11-2. Fifth-ranked Biddeford, which had won six in a row, dropped to 8-6.

“Things just didn’t go our way,” said Tigers Coach Leon Paquin. “They hit the ball, pitched well and played defense. We struggled with it.

“When you play a team like that, that’s really on, you need to play perfect.”

South Portland’s top four batters scored in the first inning as Gleason, Olivia Indorf and Sam DiBiase each had RBI singles and Lindsay Cannon knocked in a run with a groundout. The Riots made it 7-0 in the second as Gleason hit an RBI single (and later scored on a wild pitch) and Indorf hit a sacrifice fly.

“We have two of the fastest kids in the state at the top of the lineup,” said Riots Coach Ralph Aceto, referring to Erin Bogdanovich and Laurine German. “When they get on base, they create all sorts of havoc for the other team.

“And we’re now getting hitting from everybody. Early on, batters one through five were carrying us. Now we’re getting production out of six through nine … We’re swinging the bats. When we’ve got runners on, the kids love picking each other up.”

DiBiase, the junior catcher, drove in three runs with three hits. Indorf, the sophomore center fielder, had two hits and two RBI and German, the freshman second baseman, scored three runs while getting two hits.

The Riots had just four starters returning from last year’s regional finalist and start two freshmen. They started the season 1-2, the losses to Western Class A powers Scarborough and Thornton Academy, but have come back strong.

“We knew it was going to be rough at the start,” said Gleason. “But we felt that once we came together, and got some games under our belt, we’d be good. I think we’re gaining confidence every time we go out there.”

Once the Riots got the advantage, Bogdanovich wasn’t going to let the Tigers back in the game. The junior lefty allowed five hits to improve to 9-1. She struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

South Portland ended the game by scoring eight runs in the top of the sixth, sending 11 batters to the plate.

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

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH