April 10, 2013

Softball preview: Two programs, one penthouse

By Steve Craig scraig@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Alyssa Williamson, who went 5-0 last season with an 0.23 ERA, will anchor the pitching staff this season for Scarborough, which, as usual, will have pitching depth.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

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On the field, Scarborough and South Portland success radiates from the game’s epicenter.

“The key there for both those programs has just been dominant pitching. You get a dominant pitcher in this state, you can go far,” said Thornton Coach John Provost.

For Scarborough, it’s usually multiple top-level pitchers. Last year the Red Storm had five pitchers, three now pitching for college programs. Junior Alyssa Williamson (5-0, 0.23 ERA) and senior pitcher/infielder Erin Giles, along with four-year starting second baseman Marisa O’Toole, will lead the way this season.

South Portland doesn’t have the same depth but does have Bogdanovich, an imposing 6-foot left-hander.

She was playing under-18 summer ball as a seventh grader and last year struck out 103 in 80 innings.
Another difference involves vacation-week preparation.

Scarborough’s team departs for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday. The program will immerse itself in a softball-first environment, playing nine games in six days, getting in a couple of practices, and still having time for team-bonding activities and the theme parks.

“We try to go every other year. It’s too expensive to do every year,” Griffin said. “It brings the kids together. The whole week is about softball. We’re playing it, practicing it, talking about it while waiting in the lines at Disney.”

The last three times Scarborough has made a Disney trip, it won a state title.

South Portland will be hosting its own tournament this season and, according to senior shortstop and four-year starter Danica Gleason, thinking about the inevitable showdown with Scarborough.

“Even if we’re ranked ahead of them they get everything. They’re always looked at as the best team and it’s like, you don’t have to go to Disney to be the best team,” Gleason said.

Gleason’s right, of course.

Scarborough doesn’t win because of Disney magic. It wins for the same reason South Portland does: commitment to a program.

“With Scarborough and South Portland they pay the price as the whole group,” Biddeford’s Paquin said.

“It gives them an edge in the big games. You play so much, you have confidence and you don’t panic.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at scraig@mainetoday.com

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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