– By STEVE CRAIG
SOUTH PORTLAND – For the second time this season, pitcher Sam Adams and the Sanford High softball team held South Portland’s potent offense to one run in a victory.
Saturday’s 5-1 win came in the Western Class A semifinals and pushed third-seeded Sanford into the final against top-seeded Scarborough at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College.
Sanford (13-5) has won eight straight and has beaten Scarborough (17-1).
“I think they found themselves,” Sanford Coach Kristi Cochin said of her players. “We told them the pressure was on South Portland, and I think they just play really well when they’re playing for fun.”
Sanford made consistent contact against Erin Bogdanovich of South Portland early, scoring twice in the first inning and opening a 5-0 lead in the third.
South Portland (15-3) was shaky from the start. Four of Sanford’s runs were unearned.
“We knew (Bogdanovich) was a strong pitcher so we hit a lot and got ready for her,” Caitlin Pierce of the Spartans said.
“We were ready for this game. We wanted it.”
Adams limited South Portland to six hits. She struck out five and stranded six in scoring position. In the regular-season meeting she struck out 14 in an 8-1 win. This time her defense did more work, playing error-free ball.
“We were just so focused before the game and every inning,” Adams said. “It was so important for our team to come out the way we needed to. For our defense to make all those plays, I was just so thankful, because as a pitcher that’s what you need.”
Bogdanovich shut down Sanford over the final four innings, striking out five and allowing three infield singles.
“We pulled together. (Sanford is) a good team and came ready to play. We needed to warm up. We warmed up too late,” Bogdanovich said.
South Portland, the defending regional champion, didn’t score until the sixth.
“We just couldn’t seem to get untracked,” Coach Ralph Aceto said. “We couldn’t get the big hit. (Adams) pitched a great game and my hat’s off to every one of those kids. To hit (Bogdanovich) the way they hit her today, not a lot of teams do that.”
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: