– From staff reports

As Falmouth shortstop Will D’Agostino settled under a pop fly after the last pitch of the Class B baseball state championship game, his teammates crept closer and prepared to celebrate their 2-0 victory over Foxcroft Academy at Mansfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Smack went the ball into D’Agostino’s mitt, and off went the gloves of teammates, who sprinted to a spot to the left of the pitcher’s mound.

D’Agostino rid himself of both ball and glove and joined the festive pile. At the bottom was pitcher Thomas Fortier, who had thrown his second straight two-hit shutout of the tournament, and second baseman Drew Proctor.

“See that,” said Fortier, pointing to a large splotch of eye-black smudged on the left thigh of his otherwise white uniform pants. “That’s his face.”

Falmouth Coach Kevin Winship said much of the credit for his team’s three consecutive shutouts over Morse, Cape Elizabeth and Foxcroft should go to assistant coach Craig Pendleton, who worked with the Yachtsmen pitching staff.

“Our pitching has carried us all year,” Winship said. “With the new bats, I knew our offense might struggle to put up some runs. So we needed to pitch well and play good defense.”

TO LOSE IN a state championship game is always disappointing.

But Ralph Aceto, the South Portland softball coach, said his players had nothing “to hang their heads about” after losing 2-0 to Cony in the Class A final Saturday.

The Riots finished the season 17-3 and rode a 16-game winning streak into the title game. The last two wins came against the two top-rated teams in Western Class A, Thornton Academy and Scarborough, and two of the best pitchers in the state, Thornton’s Julia Geaumont and Scarborough’s Mo Hannan.

But Saturday, the Riots ran into Cony junior Sonja Morse, who used a high fastball to keep them off balance. South Portland had only two base runners and didn’t get a hit until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh, when Danica Gleason singled.

“If somebody had told me at the beginning of the year that South Portland would be here playing in a state championship game, I’d tell them that I want to take some money on it,” said Aceto. “We were pretty scary at the beginning of the season.

“We went up and played (Cony) in a scrimmage and I think we got walloped 15-1. (Wey’ve) come a long way.”

South Portland is losing three seniors — first baseman Lindsay Cannon, third baseman Libby Grant and left fielder Katie Jordan — but returns a ton of talent.

“My top five hitters are back,” said Aceto. “My first four hitters were all-SMAA. They’re back. My catcher’s back. We’ve got a couple of holes to fill, but I think we’ll be fine.”

Gleason, who will return at shortstop, said it simply “wasn’t our day.”

The season, she said, was better than anyone anticipated.

“I don’t think anyone thought we were going to be here,” she said. “So I guess, I don’t know, we have a shot at it next year.”

GREELY’S SOFTBALL season ended in the Western Class B finals, an 8-1 loss Thursday to Fryeburg Academy.

But first-year coach Sarah Jamo saw enough to know her team will be back in contention next year.

“This is a team that has had three coaches in three years and they’ve really been awesome,” she said. “They bought into what we were trying to do. And they worked really hard this season. They did everything I asked them to do and I’m really happy about that.”

MAKING A SPECTACULAR play is nothing knew for Messalonskee shortstop Sam Dexter. He’s made them often in four seasons with the Eagles, said his coach, Ray Bernier.

With his team leading 4-2 in the fifth inning of the Class A state championship game Saturday, Dexter started a 6-4-3 double play that sucked the life out of Scarborough.

The Red Storm got their leadoff hitter on via a walk. The next batter, Greg Viola, hit a blistering grounder in the hole that looked like it was going to be a base hit.

Not if Dexter had anything to say about it. He dove and caught the ball, pivoted and threw to his brother, Jake, at second base to start the double play. The next batter struck out.

The Red Storm went from a potential rally to another goose egg on the scoreboard, then went down in order in the sixth. Scarborough scored a run in the seventh, but Messalonskee pitcher Devin Warren got the final two outs on a comebacker to the mound and a pop out to his catcher, Trevor Gettig, in foul territory behind home to seal the 6-3 win.

At the plate, Dexter reached in the four-run fourth inning. His hard smash was mishandled at shortstop, and the umpire called him safe at first base. He came around to score the second run of the inning.

Dexter, who also was one of the state’s top players in football and hockey, could be making highlight reel plays for the next four years for the University of Southern Maine and baseball coach Ed Flaherty.

— Staff Writers Glenn Jordan, Mike Lowe and Tom Chard contributed to this report.