Scarborough mounted an astounding, late-game comeback – culminating in a three-RBI Chloe Griffin homer – against long-time rivals Biddeford in the A South Championship at St. Joseph’s College on Tuesday, June 14. But the game ultimately went the Tigers’ way, as they added two more in the top of the seventh that the Red Storm couldn’t match in their last ups. The final: 9-7.

“They put the ball in play and found the holes,” said Scarborough head coach Tom Griffin. “That’s the bottom line. It seemed like, every time they put the ball on the ground, it seemed to be right between my infielders. A couple steps either way, it’s a different game. That’s the way it goes, sometimes.”

Biddeford notched one in their opening at-bats, but Scarborough answered immediately. Chloe Gorey doubled into center and rounded to home on an Abbie Murrell single up the middle to keep things even in the early going.

Tigers Alex Chase, Aibhlin O’Connor and Amber Magnant went down one-two-three in the top of the second, and despite a Hannah Ricker single in their next-ups, the Storm couldn’t grab a lead either. In the third, though, Jocelyn Moody and Brook Davis both scored for Biddeford, for 3-1.

“This is the team we expected to play in the finals,” Griffin said. “They might’ve lost four games, but we fully expected this was the team we had to go and beat to win a state championship. It wasn’t our day; they have a really good offense and their pitcher did a really nice job today. We just didn’t generate enough runs. We had our chances.”

Scarborough grabbed one back in the bottom of the third, when Chloe Griffin knocked a bouncy grounder single into shallow center-right to reach first, raced to second on an error at third during Murrell’s at-bat, then darted home on Laura Powell’s blast of a grounder into right.

Still, the favored Storm remained down a point – and they fell further behind in the top of the fifth, the Tigers’ killer inning. Davis, Chase, Grace Martin and Charlotte White all touched the plate in the stretch, which included a Storm error, this one at third.

“We made some mistakes; it’s not typical of us,” Griffin said. “What can you do? It comes down to defense, and we made some poor decisions – or just didn’t quite deliver defensively when we needed to. We could’ve got ourselves out of a lot of trouble if we did, but we didn’t.”

Perhaps steely Scarborough weren’t quite as confident entering the matchup as the might’ve been against most other opponents, and perhaps the Tigers’ fiery play rattled them a bit further. Griffin acknowledged as much:

“They’re still kids, still 15-, 16-, 17-year-old young ladies,” he said, “and sometimes we try too hard. It’s part of the game, learning how to fail and come back, and keep your composure and keep battling.”

Behind in a huge way, the Storm needed a huge rally. But they’ve proven themselves capable of digging deep in the past: When they met the Tigers at the tail-end of the regular season, for example, they fell behind early and surged late to seize a 4-3 W.

This time around, they looked to do something similar. They didn’t manage it in the fifth, but in the sixth, Lindsey Kelley clocked a single into left and Ricker followed her onto base on a fielder’s choice that caught Powell heading for third. Maggie Murphy then stepped into the box and fired a double drive into center that scored both Kelley and Ricker and kicked off something special.

Gorey reached first when she grounded to third and the Tiger there turned an error. Finally, Chloe Griffin battled to a full count before finally ejecting her homerun over the leftfield fence. Those three RBIs balanced the scoreboard at seven all.

Alas, Biddeford had two more in them that the Storm did not. In the top of the seventh, Chase and Magnant both scored again, shoving Scarborough’s back up against the wall. Murrell began the Storm’s final at-bats with a heartening double, but after that, Volk ended up out at first on a dropped third strike, and Powell and Kelley both popped up to the Tigers’ catcher, ending the game.

The Storm no doubt felt they had the momentum, after their huge surge.

“If we got into the bottom of the seventh tied, I think it was our game. It’s tough to come back from something like that; [Biddeford] putting those runs up in the top of the seventh was a backbreaker for us,” Griffin said.

Despite the loss, Scarborough’s comeback showed character.

“It did, it did,” Griffin said. “I wish we could play a couple more innings, but … it just wasn’t in the bag. The kids battled all year, and they had confidence they could come back, and they did. Give them a lot of credit.”

The contest, easily one of the best 2015-2016 has seen, was Scarborough’s first loss on the season; they retire till 2017 at 18-1. The Tigers went on to trump Skowhegan in the state final, 12-7.



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