– By STEVE CRAIG
SCARBOROUGH – Marisa O’Toole’s bunt single woke the slumbering Scarborough High offense for a five-run sixth inning Thursday as the top-seeded Red Storm beat ninth-ranked Marshwood 5-1 in a Western Class A softball quarterfinal.
“My bunt might have been the spark but it took everybody else in here to keep the spark going,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by winning pitcher Alyssa Williamson. Brenna Kent drove a two-run double to the left-field corner for a 3-1 lead.
“Kent is a big-time player,” Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin said. “She’s a tough kid. She rises to the occasion and she’s always been that way.”
Sophia Burnham added an RBI groundout and diminutive Chloe Gorey rapped a sharp single to left for the final run.
Scarborough (16-1) will be at home against Thornton Academy in the semifinals Saturday with a time to be announced.
Marshwood (9-8-1) was in position for an upset after scratching together three singles in the second inning for its run. Nicole Harvey (no walks, two strikeouts) and the Hawk defense limited Scarborough to three singles through five innings.
When O’Toole reached and moved to second on a wild pitch, the tenor of the game changed. Scarborough’s bench grew louder.
“Pitching and defense wins these games but you still have to get runners on. We hadn’t gotten our lead runner on the whole game. Now we can put some pressure on,” Griffin said.
Grace Farnkoff (two singles) put down a bunt and Hawk third baseman Samantha Crosman tried unsuccessfully to get O’Toole at third by throwing to covering shortstop Kaylah Abdul.
“They executed. I honestly think it’s more what they did as opposed to what we didn’t do,” said Marshwood Coach Renee Caverly, who had a conference with her team before Farnkoff’s bunt. “We talked about getting outs and that’s where (Crosman) thought she could get an out. We support her 100 percent.”
Williamson followed with her sacrifice fly and Erin Giles singled to keep the rally going. Megan Murrell reached on an infield error to load the bases, setting up Kent.
“We’re definitely a team that hits better when we see runners on the bases,” Kent said. “We all knew once (O’Toole got on), that was when we were going to string the hits along.”
Williamson closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh. She retired the final eight batters she faced and 15 of 17 in the final five innings.
Marshwood’s run came on a hard single by Harvey (2 for 3) off Williamson, a line single by Kim Hussey to put runners at the corners and then a bloop infield single by Hanna Philbrick that fell between the pitcher’s circle and Farnkoff at short.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:
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