SOUTH PORTLAND – Ralph Aceto didn’t have to say much the last two years as the South Portland High softball coach. His Red Riots were experienced and talented.

This year he finds himself talking a little more. And his young players obviously are listening.

South Portland scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday to break open a scoreless tie and defeat previously unbeaten Kennebunk, 4-0.

Erin Bogdanovich of the Riots and Hannah King of Kennebunk were locked in a pitching duel before the Riots took advantage of a couple of defensive breakdowns by the Rams to pull away.

“That was a good statement win,” said Aceto. “I wasn’t real happy with the way we played at McAuley (a 7-3 victory Monday) (and) we had a long talk (Tuesday) at practice. I just told them I don’t know if it was my speech or they just woke up, but that was a nice win.”

South Portland’s fifth straight win was fueled by a couple of freshmen.

Second baseman Laurine German started the sixth-inning rally with a single. Left fielder Kiley Kennedy knocked in a run with a single against the Rams (6-1).

“They’re contributing a lot more than I expected,” said Bogdanovich.

German led off the sixth for South Portland (6-2) and was quickly down 0-and-2. She stepped up in the batter’s box, anticipating a change-up from King, and got it. She slapped it into center field and was on first.

“That was all her,” said Aceto. “She’s been doing this long enough, she’s smart enough at that point all I’m telling her (is) just put the ball in play.”

Three pitches later she stole second without a throw. Danica Gleason then hit a ball to second. As it was bobbled, German never stopped running.

“I was just running to third and heard my coach screaming,” she said. “He told me to go and I just went. I didn’t look, I just went. I tried to run as fast as I could.”

Her slide beat the throw home and South Portland had a 1-0 lead.

“I’d put Laurine on par with any second baseman in the league right now,” said Aceto, “as far as what she can do at the plate or in the field. She’s as good as there is and she’s only going to get better.”

Olivia Indorf then reached on a fielder’s choice when no play was made on her infield grounder, with Gleason going to second. After a sacrifice, Lindsay Cannon blooped a single to left and it was 2-0.

Kennedy then grounded a ball to left, scoring Indorf. Cannon came in to score when the ball got past the left fielder.

“They just broke through on us there,” said Rams Coach Jim Lang. “Just a lot of little things.

“But I think we showed that we can play with the top teams.”

Both pitchers controlled the game in the early innings, keeping the batters off-balance with a variety of pitches. Bogdanovich allowed only three hits — including a resounding double off the center-field fence by King (who was thrown out by Gleason trying to stretch it to a triple) — and walked one, striking out six. Kennebunk never had a runner reach third.

King allowed only five hits, walking two and striking out seven.

She was aided by a nice double play in the fourth, when first baseman Allison King caught a pop-up and threw to second to pick off the runner.

“We still have some things to clean up,” said Aceto. “My goal this year is to get to the playoffs and I want to be at St. Joe’s (site of the regional final) again. Then anything can happen.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH