CAPE ELIZABETH — Cape Elizabeth High and Fryeburg Academy are regarded as two of the top teams in Western Class B softball, but after Saturday’s 5-1 win by the Capers they are also on different planes – not just in wins and losses, but also in their development.

Cape Elizabeth improved to 5-0 and showed its ability to make contact throughout its lineup against Fryeburg’s hard-throwing and experienced lefty pitcher, Sarah Harriman, striking out only three times.

“There’s not many easy outs in our lineup, if any,” Cape Coach Joe Henrikson said.

Cape also received solid pitching from starter Kate Rabasca and reliever Anna Goldstein, and its defense twice cut down Fryeburg runners trying to take an extra base. All told, it was a solid, well-rounded effort.

Fryeburg, which had a run of five straight regional titles stopped last year, slipped to 2-3, losing its second game in as many days. While the Raiders matched Cape’s hit total – five for each team – infield errors led to four of Cape’s runs.

“We have quite a divide on skill on the team,” said Stephen Woodcock, who is in his first season as Fryeburg’s coach. “We have three or four three-year varsity players, and all the rest are first-year varsity players, freshmen or kids up from the junior varsity.”

Woodcock said he expects his team to get stronger as the year goes on.

“I know the seniors are frustrated,” Woodcock added. “Some of them are acting out and they shouldn’t be. They’re so used to winning, and it’s really a tough situation for them to have to learn how to compensate. It’s a growing process and part of maturity.”

While Cape is best known for its potent hitting, led by catcher Tess Haller (RBI single) and junior shortstop Ashley Tinsman (two hits, RBI), its pitchers have allowed just eight runs in five games. Rabasca, a righty, worked the first 41/3 innings, giving up five hits. When she was touched for back-to-back singles by Lexi Carland and Makayla Cooper and then walked Sydney Charles on a 3-2 count to load the bases with one out in the fifth, Henrikson called in Goldstein from right field.

“It was the third time through (Fryeburg’s) lineup,” Henrikson said. “Good hitters are going to catch up to you, and then you go from a righty to a lefty so they get to see a pretty different look, and both (pitchers) are usually pretty accurate.

Goldstein worked out of the jam, allowing a run on Mackenzie Buzzell’s grounder to second before striking out Harriman. She avoided being rattled after Woodcock asked the umpires if her unorthodox delivery was legal.

Goldstein said it was the first time her delivery was called into question.

“That was kind of weird. I was nervous at the beginning,” she said. “But then my teammates told me not to think about anything.”

Michaela Pinette, a junior left fielder, started two rallies for the Capers.

In the second inning, she beat out a two-out infield single, moved up on a walk by Rabasca and hustled home on Hannah Saturley’s ground single.

In the fourth inning, Pinette reached on a throwing error and stole second when a dropped third strike was unnecessarily thrown to first. She moved up on a wild pitch and then tore home on Saturley’s grounder to short, beating Sydney Charles’ throw to freshman catcher Cooper with a hard slide.

“Well, coach told me to wait and see the ball go through, and I was just in the moment and took the chance and that ended up in my favor, too,” Pinette said.

Haller and Tinsman followed with RBI singles.

Cape added a run in the sixth when Rabasca reached on a Harriman throwing error and eventually scored on a groundout by Elise Flathers.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

scraig@pressherald.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig