Ray Fox knew his Falmouth High softball team was making progress.

The email from his predecessor confirmed it.

After Falmouth’s nine-inning 5-3 win at Yarmouth, which featured back-to-back homers by senior shortstop Maddie Inlow and freshman Julia Treadwell in the ninth, Fox saw the note from John Keyes.

“It said congratulations on Falmouth’s first winning record in the regular season in 10 years,” Fox said.

At 9-6 entering Thursday’s game at similarly successful Gray-New Gloucester (9-5), Falmouth is probably not quite ready to challenge the upper crust in Western Class B this year as last Wednesday’s 19-4 thumping at once-beaten Cape Elizabeth suggests.

But the improvement is indisputable.

This is Fox’s second tour as the varsity coach. His first season was Falmouth’s last winning season. His second season was a struggle. With the demands of his own young family, being a middle school world history teacher and going to grad school, Fox decided to step away from being the varsity coach but kept his eyes on the program. For the past six seasons he coached the middle school team.

His first order of business was to get more players.

“Last year there were only 13 girls in the entire high school program. We were able to get 23 to come out and play this year. A lot of them were freshmen who I’d coached last year,” Fox said, adding that at Falmouth the in-school competition is fierce. The girls’ tennis team has won seven of the last eight Class B state championships, girls’ lacrosse is playoff-bound this season and the track team has solid numbers.

A couple of playoff wins could make softball cool again, Fox said.

Inlow is hitting .347, getting on base nearly half the time (.444) and leads the team in runs with 18. She’s also contributed 12 RBI and six steals.

In addition to Treadwell, who is 5-3 on the mound, the freshman class has contributed starting third baseman Jessica Collins, the team’s leading hitter, and center fielder Krysia Lesniak.

Lesniak made a key catch in the ninth to help preserve the win against Yarmouth.

Junior Amanda Carver (4-3) has combined with Treadwell to form a legitimate two-pitcher rotation.

“With every win they’re getting a little more confidence,” Fox said. “The Cape game was a little step back but we responded and came right back with two really big wins. We’re getting there.”

 

KATHERINE PATE of Saco helped the Westminster School of Simsbury, Conn., win the Western New England Division 1 prep league softball title. The junior was 3 for 4 in an 11-1 championship-game victory against Choate.

Westminster (17-1) won its fifth division prep title in six years and Pate was named the school’s Stephen Harris Squibb Bowl recipient, awarded to a varsity athlete who exhibits exemplary leadership, effort and performance.

Pate’s primary sport is hockey. Earlier this spring she was on the Assabet Valley club team that won the under-19 Tier One national championship, the third time Pate’s been on a national championship team.

THE SMAA championships will take place Saturday. The top four teams in the Heal point standings will be at Scarborough High.

Both semifinals will be at 3 p.m., with the championship game at 6. Scarborough, which is home against surging Westbrook on Thursday, and South Portland will be in the top two spots, with No. 3 Sanford and No. 4 Thornton Academy.

The Trojans appeared to be on their way to finishing third but were upset Tuesday at Westbrook.

For the Blue Blazes it was a second straight big win, having topped tourney-bound Bonny Eagle last Wednesday. The Western Maine Conference does not have a league championship tournament.

 

GOOD AND SMART: Looking for another reason Scarborough High is again a Class A title threat? It could be the triangle of captains who will be playing for NESCAC teams next season. Pitcher/third baseman Erin Giles is going to Middlebury, shortstop Grace Farnkoff is off to Colby and slick second baseman and leadoff hitter Marisa O’Toole will be at Bowdoin. O’Toole will be joining forces with the 2012 Telegram player of the year, Julia Geaumont, who went 11-3 this spring in her first season with the Polar Bears.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at:

[email protected]