Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Steve Craig firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA — Marisa O'Toole led off the game with a long home run and Scarborough High kept the momentum rolling all the way to its fourth Class A softball title in seven years Saturday.
It’s a celebration of red as the Red Storm of Scarborough continue a trend of winning state softball titles in odd-numbered seasons, defeating Skowhegan 9-3 in the Class A final.
Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal
Alyssa Williamson receives a hug from catcher Megan Murrell after pitching Scarborough to the Class A state title, beating Skowhegan, 9-3.
Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal
The Red Storm beat Skowhegan 9-3 at Cony High.
"Everything that happened today is because of all these girls here," said O'Toole, a Bowdoin-bound senior. "It wasn't just me getting the home run to begin with, it was them stepping up and making sure we got all those runs."
O'Toole's homer came on a full count after she had fallen behind 0-2 against Skowhegan pitcher Kaitlyn Theriault. An inning later, her two-run triple to the fence just inside the right-field line pushed the lead to 4-0.
"(O'Toole) has been a key to our success right through the playoffs. She's the catalyst and everyone got a chance to see the type of player she is," Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin said.
Alyssa Williamson of the Red Storm pitched a seven-hitter with 10 strikeouts.
"I got a good night's sleep. I woke up and I was so pumped and from then on I knew I was going to have a good day," Williamson said. "(O'Toole) always knows how to get us going and that home run definitely, right from the get-go, got us going."
Skowhegan's top player, Shelby Obert, nearly matched O'Toole in the bottom of the first with a line double to the bottom of the fence in left-center. Williamson stranded her with an infield pop and two strikeouts.
Scarborough (19-1) added to its lead in the second. Megan Murrell led off with a long double that just got past center fielder Lyndsi Merrill.
Theriault retired the next two batters to keep courtesy runner Mary Redmond at second until freshman Chloe Gorey lashed a single to left. Maggie Murphy barely beat out a bunt for a hit, setting up O'Toole's triple that dropped when Mikayla Toth backed off at the last instant.
Scarborough pushed the lead to 7-0 with three runs in the fourth. Gorey, O'Toole and Williamson walked to load the bases. Erin Giles drove in two with a two-out single. Murrell (2 for 3) followed with a single to right, scoring Paige Moore-Haskell, who was running for Williamson.
"We talked about being real patient today," Griffin said. "(Theriault) throws a lot of change-ups. She doesn't always throw them for strikes. We wanted to lay off it as much as we (could) to get the count going our way, and then she's going to have to come in with something straighter."
Williamson walked three. One was essentially an intentional walk of Obert that loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth.
"I have so much confidence in my defense. This is probably the best defensive team Scarborough has had in the history of softball," Williamson said. "The way I thought about it was, bases loaded, yeah, but the girls have got my back." Williamson then struck out Toth.
Skowhegan didn't score until Andrea Quirion's solo blast to left-center in the sixth made it 7-1. Williamson responded with back-to-back strikeouts.
Skowhegan (14-6) scored twice in the seventh on consecutive hits by Merrill, Obert (double) and Toth (two-run double). Williamson ended the game by striking out Quirion.
Scarborough sent up six straight pinch hitters in the seventh, scoring twice. Brittany Plowman's single scored Sydney Litrocapes (single) and Mary Redmond (walk).
Scarborough has won titles the last four odd-numbered years.
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: