SCARBOROUGH — At the beginning of the season, it was clear that Scarborough High and Thornton Academy were the top teams in Class A South softball, both hard-hitting teams with quality pitching.

And Thursday night they put on a show.

The Red Storm remained undefeated, beating Thornton Academy 3-1, but were tested like they hadn’t been all year. Chloe Griffin allowed three hits, Bella Dickinson had two doubles and drove in two runs, and Scarborough played a nearly flawless defensive game.

The victory lifted Scarborough (13-0) back into the top spot in the region. The Trojans (11-3) remained third.

“It’s really fun to play in a game like this,” said Scarborough first baseman Felicia O’Reilly. “It tests you … This, to me, is what softball is, these close games, where you’re going all seven innings and working as hard as you can.”

O’Reilly was a huge factor defensively, scooping at least four low throws out of the dirt to make an out at first.

“That’s what I’m there for,” said O’Reilly. “As long as it’s coming near me I’m going to try my best to get it, however I can.”

“That was the difference in the game,” said Thornton Coach John Provost. “She made every single play over here.”

The Trojans threw some pretty decent leather too, especially in the outfield. Right fielder Olivia Paradis robbed Sam Carriero of a two-run homer in the third inning by reaching up to shag a high drive, then tumbling over the short fence that surrounds the outfield, holding onto the ball. And center fielder Kylie Lavallee made a diving catch to rob O’Reilly of a hit in the fourth.

But the Trojans could never get the big hit off Griffin to overcome an early deficit. The Red Storm took a 3-0 lead after two innings as Griffin drove in Dickinson with a single in the first, then Dickinson knocked home two runs with a double in the second.

The Trojans got a run on a leadoff home run by Olivia Howe in the fourth and threatened in the sixth and seventh, each time putting two runners on.

But Griffin got out of each jam with her defense making the plays.

“I think that this definitely boosts our confidence, showing we can play defense like that,” said Griffin. “Especially in tight situations. We don’t get this opportunity a lot, during the season, to play in a competitive environment like this and it was nice to see some girls step up defensively.”

Scarborough won its first 12 games by an average of 13.5 runs. So Coach Tom Griffin was pleased to see his players respond to this challenge.

“The kids need to be able to find they can respond to these situations,” he said. “We’re happy to win but sometimes you get up and all of a sudden the game is over in the second inning. We’ve had way too many of those and what do you learn from that?

“It builds their confidence but I’m not sure we’re learning the lessons that we need to compete and to move forward in the playoffs. This was great.”

Thornton’s Provost agreed.

“Tremendous game,” he said. “The girls believed, they believed they could compete.”

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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