STANDISH – If it’s an odd year, you can be sure Scarborough High’s softball team is going to be playing for a state championship.
The Red Storm won their fourth Western Class A softball championship in seven years — each in an odd-numbered year — by rallying past Sanford 5-2 Wednesday night at St. Joseph’s College.
Top-seeded Scarborough scored four times in the bottom of the fifth, with senior second baseman Marisa O’Toole crushing a two-run home run, to overcome a two-run deficit.
“I’m so proud of these girls this year,” said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin. “They worked very hard all year. They want it badly and they deserve it.”
Scarborough (18-1) will play for the state championship against Bangor or Skowhegan at noon Saturday at Cony High in Augusta.
Third-seeded Sanford, the only team to beat Scarborough (3-2 on May 6), once again pushed the Red Storm. The Spartans (13-6) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by pitcher Sam Adams and a run-scoring single by first baseman Kellie Tovey.
Adams seemed in control until the bottom of the fifth, when Red Storm freshman Chloe Gorey led off a bunt that was mishandled for an error. One out later, O’Toole slammed a long drive over the center-field fence, and the game was tied.
“She’s just a big-game player for us,” said Griffin.
“I guess I locked in and tried to do my best,” said O’Toole. “I wasn’t trying for anything big, and that’s when those things can happen.
“But I’m so proud of these guys. They kept it rolling and didn’t let it stay 2-2. They gave us an opportunity to win this game.”
Grace Farnkoff followed with a hard single to left. Winning pitcher Alyssa Williamson one-hopped a double off the center-field fence, and pinch-runner Mary Redmond scored on an errant relay throw home, with Williamson ending up on third.
Erin Giles then hit a sacrifice fly to right, and courtesy runner Paige Moore-Haskell came in with the fourth run.
“They’re a real scary team with their bats,” said Sanford Coach Kristy Cochin. “We knew we’d have to make a lot of tough defensive plays. This was the third time they faced Sam this year and we figured they’d put the ball on the bat more. Scarborough won that game.”
Sanford was making its first appearance in the regional final since 1983.
“I don’t think anyone in the league expected us to be here,” said Cochin. “And sometimes the nerves get in the way and the adrenaline takes over. You try to do more than what you can.”
The Red Storm added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Gorey.
Williamson settled in after the first inning, and Scarborough made all the plays defensively, ending the game with a unusual double play. With runners on first and second, shortstop Farnkoff fielded a grounder and threw to O’Toole at second for the force play. Sanford’s lead runner rounded third and tried to score, and Farnkoff threw a strike to catcher Megan Murrell, who applied the tag for the final out.
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: