CAPE ELIZABETH — In its unbeaten regular season, Cape Elizabeth High’s softball team has bludgeoned teams with its bats and stifled them with its arms.
Monday, the Capers completed a 16-0 regular season by taking a bunch of walks, running around on wild pitches and producing an RBI single here or there. With just two hits the Capers scored six runs in the third inning to take control against Greely and then thwarted a seventh-inning rally for a 10-6 win.
“It’s not just the bats,” Cape Coach Joe Henrikson said. “When we beat Poland it was with pitching and defense. Same with Lake Region. They’re just gaining confidence every day. And everybody can hit, that’s been a big thing.”
Cape will be the No. 1 team in the Western Class B tournament and will host a regional quarterfinal on June 10.
After starting the season 6-0, Greely was on a win-loss teeter-totter and finished 11-5. The Rangers will likely be seeded fifth, possibly fourth, according to Coach Jess Brady.
Either of those spots gets the Rangers directly to the regional quarterfinal.
More important than the Rangers’ seed is tightening up their overall play, Brady said. It will start with reducing walks (10 against Cape) and wild pitches.
Brady noted that her pitchers must throw strikes and her offense needs to get more balls on the ground to make defenses work harder. Greely had 11 flyouts or pop-ups on Monday.
“Anybody can catch a fly ball,” Brady said. “If you put it on the ground then somebody has to catch it, throw it and catch it again. We’re not testing the defense and making them work.
“We have to figure it out before it’s too late. As I’ve said all along this team has all the tools to be successful.”
The biggest problem for the Rangers was throwing strikes as starter Miranda Moore (3 innings, 9 runs) struggled with her control, walking seven and throwing eight wild pitches. Moore was throwing to a new catcher, Jennie Smith, a freshman making her first start. Regular catcher Audrey Mann was not dressed and was unavailable for the game. When asked if Smith could be used in the playoffs, Brady said, “I plan to.”
With the game tied 1-1 after each team scored in the first, Moore gave up a single to Katie Rabasca and then wild pitched her around the bases. With one out, Anna Goldstein walked, stole second, and scored on Moore’s fourth wild pitch of the inning.
It was more of the same in the third as Cape scored six runs on two hits, five walks and four more wild pitches to take a 9-1 lead. Tess Haller and Elise Flathers had RBI singles.
After a shaky first inning, Cape starter Rabasca allowed one hit over the next five innings – a hard double by Miranda Eisenhart to lead off the fifth. Eisenhart scored on a throwing error by Haller, who had moved from catcher to shortstop.
Cape’s regular shortstop, junior Ashley Tinsman, left the game early to attend her brother’s graduation at Cheverus.
Greely scored four runs in the seventh by putting together four consecutive two-out hits, the first a liner by Sarah Felkel that hit Rabasca flush in her upper left arm.
“It wasn’t her throwing arm, I’m sure she’ll be fine” Henrikson said.
After Mykaela Twitchell’s two-run single cut the lead to 10-6, Goldstein came in to get the final out on a liner to right.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: