SCARBOROUGH — South Portland High’s young softball team showed Friday it was ready to compete against a tough opponent, jumping to a 4-0 lead in its opener.
Then Scarborough showed four runs is probably not enough to beat the defending Class A champion.
The Red Storm scored 12 times in their final three at-bats in a 13-4 victory.
“We’ve got a lot of good speed, a lot of good bat control,” Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin said. “Then we have some real big bats and kids that aren’t going to strike out very much.”
South Portland, which has two seniors and four returning starters, scored once in the first inning, once in the second and twice in the third off Scarborough ace Alyssa Williamson. Run-scoring hits came from Olivia Indorf, Paige Carter (a double to deep center) and Michaela Willwerth.
“We’ve got enough kids that can swing the bat,” South Portland Coach Ralph Aceto said. “I was surprised we put up four on (Williamson), but I was not surprised we scored on her.”
Indorf worked out of two-out trouble in the first two innings and got the first two outs in the third before Scarborough catcher Megan Murrell came to the plate. On a 3-2 count, Indorf challenged the Scarborough senior, who turned on the fastball and sent it over the right-field fence.
“That got the energy up, at least for me,” Murrell said. “Then everybody fed off it and did their part.”
Scarborough (2-0) has scored 20 of its 21 runs after the third inning.
The bottom of the order certainly contributed. No. 8 batter Ashley Gleason (3 for 4) and No. 9 hitter Maggie Murphy each scored three times.
Gleason drove in Brenna Kent to tie the game in the fifth, then scored the go-ahead run when Murphy’s drifting two-out fly to left-center was dropped. Murphy scored on a solid single to right by Chloe Gorey (2 for 4, 3 RBI) for a 6-4 lead after five innings.
Willwerth and Abby Young worked walks off Williamson in the sixth, prompting Griffin to bring in Sophia Burnham. After striking out 13 in a one-hit shutout Wednesday against Bonny Eagle, Williamson struggled with control, walking five and throwing two wild pitches.
“It was just a matter of everything kind of coming up (in the strike zone),” Murrell said. “Everyone has an off day, and she kept going and kept pushing through every at-bat.”
Burnham got Carter on a nice running catch by Kent in foul territory in right, with South Portland’s runners moving up a base.
Burnham then caught South Portland leadoff batter Laurine German looking for the third out.
“That was the air out of the sails,” Aceto said. “That was the last gasp.”
Scarborough’s offense and some shaky outfield defense combined to smother the Red Riots in the bottom of the sixth. Scarborough scored seven runs on eight hits, including five consecutive two-out hits by Gleason, Murphy (two-run triple), Gorey (RBI single), Brittany Plowman (RBI double) and Dani Plummer (RBI single).
“Yes, we did fall behind but all these girls just stay positive, positive, positive,” Murrell said. “There was so much energy on the field, so much energy in the dugout we knew eventually we’d come back and at least hold our own, and in the end we did.”
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: SteveCCraig