South Portland 3

Windham 2

The South Portland softball team committed 10 errors, but still managed to hold on for their sixth straight win, a 3-2 decision over Windham on Monday afternoon.

South Portland pitcher Julie DiMatteo allowed just three hits and struck out eight batters to improve her record to 4-2. On the other side, Windham pitcher Ally Noble allowed six hits and struck out six. She is 5-3 this season.

The Red Riots got two of their three runs in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and no one on, Jamie Harmon doubled for the first South Portland hit. DiMatteo then tripled to drive Harmon home. Kelsey Flaherty singled in DiMatteo and the Riots had a 2-0 cushion.

That slim margin got even smaller in the top of the second. With a runner at second, the Eagles’ Ashley Blanchard pulled an inside pitch down the third base line wher it was misplayed. The error allowed Amanda Evans to score from second and the South Portland lead stood at 2-1.

“We gave them a lot of extra outs,” said South Portland coach Jim Hartman. “You have to give them credit. Outside of Scarborough, that’s the best team we’ve played. They are well coached and they make the most of their talent. But we can’t play like we did and continue to go very far.”

The Riots got a run back in the bottom of the second. Kayla Farrara singled and Melissa Thomes laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Farrara to second. Christina Aceto then singled home Farrara to make it a 3-1 game.

“We’ve really worked hard on (hitting),” said Hartman. “The kids have done a lot of work on it and its showing. The kids are starting to hit. We have five new starters in that lineup – three freshman and two sophomores. It takes a while to get them acclimated.”

Meanwhile the Eagles were hitting DiMatteo pretty hard as well. But when DiMatteo found herself in trouble, she was seemingly always able to make a big pitch and avoid scoreboard damage.

“I have no explanation why they pulled her,” said Hartman. “Some of that was her pitching wasn’t up to her normal standards. I think she pitched a heck of a game though. Overall she pitched well. She gets stronger as the game goes on.”

And Noble had a strong performance on the mound for Windham. Aside from the three runs in the first and second innings, she held South Portland scoreless the rest of the game.

The Eagles scratched another run across in the fourth. Noble reached on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brenna Clauson. Melissa Bedient then reached on another error and Andrea Parent eventually drove Noble home.

“(DiMatteo) does a great job,” said Aceto. “She works so hard every day and through the winter and the fall to get better and stronger. She’s definitely improved from last year.”

Both teams put runners on base over the final three innings but could not score. DiMatteo retired Windham in order in the top of the seventh to end the game. With the win the Red Riots improve to 6-2 after an 0-2 start.

“We were very shaky in the first game,” Hartman said. “We played well in the Scarborough game. We have some talent; this only makes us better for the future. That was a good team though.”

Windham drops to 5-3 with the loss. They were scheduled to host Portland (2-5) on Wednesday afternoon. South Portland was scheduled to travel to Westbrook on Wednesday to take on the Blue Blazes (3-4).


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