SANFORD – Sanford High senior pitcher Sam Adams did it all, and the result was a convincing 8-1 softball upset win over South Portland on Monday.
Adams struck out 14 South Portland batters and drove in five runs — including a three-run homer to take the lead — as the Spartans upset the defending Western Maine champs.
Adams has now allowed two earned runs this season and has posted three games with nine or more strikeouts. Not bad for a player who didn’t even make the honorable mention list on last year’s SMAA all-star team.
“I just work hard and play my best. I’m not really the type of person that’s about getting an all-star award,” Adams said.
“We haven’t beaten South Portland in how many years? I know we haven’t in my four years. Today, it’s a big day for us.”
Both teams are now 3-2 on the season. Sanford has won three straight.
South Portland did not start senior left-hander Erin Bogdanovich for the second time this season. The Red Riots are 0-2 and have been outscored 23-6 in those games. The other was a 15-5 loss to Scarborough.
“It’s not the first time we didn’t show up to play,” Riots Coach Ralph Aceto said.
“Scarborough is Scarborough. I did what I did (not start Bogdanovich) and we had fun with it. This is different. We were down against Noble, too, and were fortunate they had to change pitchers.”
Sanford touched South Portland starter Olivia Indorf for eight runs — four each in the third and fourth innings — on nine hits.
Adams’ home run was a liner that roared over center fielder Bogdanovich’s head and just kept rolling. The next batter, Kellie Tovey, hit a triple to right-center just out of the reach of Bogdanovich. She scored on freshman Jen Jones’ single.
Sanford added ample insurance with a four-run fourth. Sophomore catcher Emily Begin drew a one-out walk and freshman Nicole Main followed with a double to deep left-center.
Sam Fecteau’s third single drove in Begin. Morgan Fogg reached on an error as Main scored.
After a wild pitch, Adams dropped a two-run single into shallow center.
When Tovey followed with a single, Indorf was replaced by Bogdanovich. She retired all eight batters she faced, striking out three, but the damage had been done.
“I think that maybe it was a bit of relief,” to not face Bogdanovich, Sanford Coach Kristi Cochin said.
“But (Indorf) is no slouch and I feel my team rose to the occasion.”
The only Red Riot player to trouble Adams was lead-off hitter Laurine German, who stroked sharp singles in her first three at-bats. The rest of South Portland’s lineup was 2 for 23 with one walk and one hit batter.
Adams consistently was ahead in the count and effectively changed elevation to get the Riots chasing high strikes.
Throughout the game she wore the same focused look on her face and didn’t crack a smile until after crossing the foul line after catching a German pop up to end the game.
Adams stranded five runners in scoring position. In the third, trailing 1-0, she struck out Bogdanovich and Danica Gleason to leave strand German stranded on second.
In the fifth she fanned Gleason and cleanup hitter Indorf with runners at second and third.
Sanford’s defense also played error-free ball.
“It was simple as we played clean softball. Do that behind a 14-strikeout pitching performance and that’s pretty tough to beat,” Cochin said.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: