SACO — Scarborough High’s softball team seized its opportunities at every turn in Monday’s 5-1 win over a respected Thornton Academy team.
They came up with runs whenever they had a scoring chance. The Red Storm was also sharp on defense, playing error-free ball. And when she needed it, Scarborough’s senior left-handed pitcher Alyssa Williamson was able to go to her repertoire and come up with just the right pitch to chop down Thornton’s mini seventh-inning rally.
“That was a well carved-out win for us today,” Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin said. “We just did everything right. We played strong defense. We moved runners when we needed to. We put the ball in play when we needed to and didn’t make any mental mistakes.”
Defending Class A champion Scarborough improved to 4-0. With three of those wins against upper-echelon teams, the Storm has claimed the post position in the race of Western A’s top seed.
Williamson let her defense do the work in the early going, pitching from ahead and facing one batter over the minimum through three innings, with only Thornton shortstop Brooke Cross dropping a single into shallow left.
Over the final four innings, Williamson posted eight of her 10 strikeouts but also walked five batters and threw three wild pitches. In the seventh inning, Cross led off with her second hit, beating out an infield grounder. Williamson fanned two pinch-hitters but walked Libby Pomerleau, sending Cross home with a wild pitch on a ball four.
“I was struggling at the end. I knew I was,” Williamson said. “I was getting tired and was lackadaisically trying to throw the ball over the plate.”
With two strikes on Taylor Lux, Williamson opted for a new approach – a super-slow change-up. Lux was so far out in front with her swing that she corkscrewed into a sitting position.
Sitting at home plate, even Lux had a laugh at her own expense.
“I’ll wear that one,” Lux said. “There’s not much you can do. I knew it was my last at-bat and it was such a meatball. I just wanted to crush it.”
Three of Scarborough’s five runs came on one-out, RBI groundouts, as the Storm demonstrated they know how to manufacture runs. They also knew runs would be at a premium against Thornton junior Bailey Tremblay (seven hits, eight strikeouts, two walks).
“Bailey kept them off balance,” Thornton Coach John Provost said. “But they put the ball in play. They’re very good at putting pressure on the defense.”
Thornton is now 2-3, losing one-run games to Bonny Eagle and South Portland.
“We take good things from this game,” Tremblay said. “We competed and if it wasn’t for a couple errors we would have stayed real close.
“In terms of frame of mind, that’s the best they’ve been pregame, during the game and after the game, their enthusiasm for seven innings,” Provost said. “We’ve played a tough part of our schedule. We lost some games we shouldn’t have lost but now it’s about focusing on the next 11 games. We’re not happy with the loss but we’re happy with the performance overall.”
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: SteveCCraig