After two years without, spring sports athletes and teams are relishing the opportunity to play in the postseason.

While outdoor track and field held its championship meets Saturday (see story), tennis, baseball, softball and lacrosse are in the midst of determining their best.

Here’s a look at where things stand with just days to go before tennis crowns its champions and less than two weeks remain until baseball, softball and lacrosse do the same:

Tennis

Falmouth’s girls’ tennis team will take part in the regional final for the 13th year in a row Wednesday. Falmouth, which saw its 11-year title reign and 187-match win streak end two years ago, is the top seed in Class A South this spring and after eliminating No. 9 Portland, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, it ousted No. 5 Scarborough, 3-2, in the semifinals, earning a measure of revenge against the Red Storm, who had upset them in 2019. Falmouth (14-0) meets No. 3 Kennebunk (9-3) in the Class A South Final Wednesday.

A victory would put Falmouth in the state match against either Brunswick (13-1) or Hampden Academy (11-3) Saturday in Lewiston.

Falmouth’s boys’ squad wasn’t as fortunate. Falmouth, ranked fourth, defeated No. 13 Bonny Eagle, 3-0, in the preliminary round, then edged No. 5 Cheverus, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, but in the semifinals, Falmouth lost to top-ranked Kennebunk, 5-0, to wind up 10-5 and with it, its three-year Class A state title reign has come to an end.

In Class B South, the reigning state champion Yarmouth boys, ranked first, eliminated No. 9 Lincoln Academy, 4-1, in the quarterfinals and fourth-ranked York, 4-1, in the semifinals to improve to 13-1.

The Clippers will be joined in Thursday’s regional final by third-seeded Greely (10-4), which knocked off sixth-ranked Cape Elizabeth, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then outlasted No. 2 Freeport, 3-2, in the semifinals (the Falcons, who finished 8-6, had downed No. 7 Mountain Valley, 5-0, in their quarterfinal).

The winner of that match will face either Caribou (14-0) or Waterville (14-0) in the state match, Saturday in Lewiston.

On the girls’ side, second-ranked Yarmouth made it to the regional final by beating No. 10 Morse, 5-0, in the quarterfinals and edging No. 3 Lincoln Academy, 3-2, in the semifinals. The Clippers (11-3) will face top-ranked Cape Elizabeth (12-1) in Thursday’s regional final.

If Yarmouth advances to states for the first time since 2004, it will play either Waterville (14-0) or Caribou (14-0) Saturday in Lewiston.

Greely, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 5 Spruce Mountain, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then lost, 4-1, to Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals to finish 10-4.

Freeport, ranked eighth, blanked No. 9 Lake Region, 5-0, in the preliminary round, then wound up 6-7 after a 4-1 loss to Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy’s boys, ranked fourth, blanked No. 5 Boothbay, 5-0, in the quarterfinals, then was eliminated by 12-time reigning champion Waynflete, 5-0, in the semifinals to finish 6-7.

The NYA girls went 0-11 this spring and didn’t take part in the postseason.

Softball

Falmouth’s softball team is all smiles after Monday’s playoff upset of three-time reigning Class A champion Scarborough. Contributed photo

The local softball world was knocked on its ear Monday when Falmouth shocked three-time champion Scarborough in the Class A South playoffs.

Falmouth, ranked 14th in the region, wouldn’t have even made the playoffs in a normal year (every team gets in this season due to COVID modifications), but it certainly took advantage of its opportunity when it went to the third-seeded Red Storm, a team it lost to, 15-0, in five innings, May 10 at home. Falmouth got some confidence with single runs in the first and second innings, got a terrific pitching effort from Cam Birks and clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh, got a clutch two-run double from Valentina Van Zandt, her third hit, and went on to a seismic 5-2 victory, the program’s biggest since winning the 1993 Class C state championship.

“When we played Scarborough a couple weeks ago, the girls were psyched out before the game, they kicked the ball around and it wasn’t our day,” Falmouth coach James Coffey said. “All week, (we coaches) told them that they had nothing to lose. If we played solid defense and believed in each other, we knew we could hit their pitcher and we would be in the game. I sent the girls (former USA men’s hockey coach) Herb Brooks’ speech (from the movie ‘Miracle’) today. It worked. This game was a lot like that.”

Birks earned the victory by allowing Scarborough’s potent offense just six hits. Birks had two hits of her own, as did Miranda Birks, Maddy Cooney and Natalie Fortier.

“We led the whole way,” Coffey said. “Cam had a 1-2-3 first and Maddie MacDowell made some nice plays in leftfield to settle us down. We got timely hits and played well mentally. I’m just blown away. Speechless. It’s huge for the program. We’ve told the girls they can play with anybody and they proved it today. The girls went nuts afterwards. It was just awesome.”

Falmouth improbably advanced to the Round of 16 and will go to either No. 6 Windham (14-2) or No. 11 Westbrook (8-8) Thursday. Falmouth lost twice to the Eagles this year, 9-0 away and 14-1 (in five innings) at home and fell at home to the Blue Blazes (6-1). Falmouth has no playoff history with either school.

“Now the girls have confidence, so we’ll see what happens,” Coffey said.

In Class B South, Greely, seeded 13th after a 7-9 regular season, which ended with a 7-4 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester last week, played its Round of 16 game at No. 4 Lincoln Academy (10-4) Tuesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The Rangers have won both prior playoff meetings, 6-5 (in eight innings) in the 2006 Western B quarterfinals and 4-1 in the 2010 Western B quarterfinals.

Freeport, ranked 15th after a 2-14 regular season, which culminated with a 12-1 loss at Lake Region last week, was at No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (16-0) for its Round of 16 game Tuesday. The Falcons lost three times to the Capers this year, 15-0, 26-0 and 13-2. The teams have no playoff history.

Yarmouth finished 1-15 and 16th in the region, closing with a 17-2 (five-inning) loss at Poland last week, and was at top-ranked Fryeburg Academy (11-3) for its Round of 16 game Tuesday. The teams didn’t play this spring. They’ve met just once before in the postseason, a 1-0 Clippers victory in the Western B Final, en route to the state championship.

In Class D South, NYA’s return to varsity status was a success this year as the Panthers finished 7-8, good for the No. 7 seed. NYA, which closed last week with a pair of losses to Sacopee Valley (3-2 and 11-2) and a 14-2 (six-inning) loss at Fryeburg Academy, hosted No. 10 Rangeley (6-8) in Tuesday’s preliminary round. The teams didn’t meet this year. They’ve met just once before in the playoffs, a 14-2 Panthers victory in the 2004 Western D quarterfinals.

Looking ahead, the quarterfinals are Thursday and the semifinals will be played Saturday. Those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Baseball

Falmouth pitcher Bennett Smith opens Monday’s 5-3 playoff win over Biddeford by throwing to catcher Ethan Hendry. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

The baseball postseason got underway Monday when Falmouth, seeded fifth in Class A South, hosted 12th-ranked Biddeford in a Round of 16 game. Falmouth got off to a fast start, scoring three times in the bottom of the second, as Patrick Gill tripled and scored on a wild pitch, a second run scored on a ground out and Peter McCluskey stole home. The Tigers rallied to tie it with two runs in the third and another in the fourth, but in the bottom of the fourth, Sam Kidder, who struck out in his first two plate appearances against Tigers starter Brady Ham, came up huge with two-on and two-out, tripling to center to drive in a pair of runs to put his team ahead to stay. After Falmouth starter Bennett Smith worked out of a jam in the top of the sixth, freshman Brennan Rumpf came on in the seventh and set Biddeford down in order to finish off a 5-3 victory.

“Everyone contributed to the win,” Kidder said. “We kept our cool and didn’t have mental errors. That’s how we win.”

“When we played them down there (earlier this season), it was close, so I expected this would be close too, but I knew we could get it done,” Smith said. “This one feels good.”

“We had an error and other than that, we played pretty clean baseball,” added Falmouth coach Mike D’Andrea. “That’s been our M.O. all year, play clean baseball and stay out of big innings and get it done. What we did well today was we didn’t take our poor at-bats out in the field.”

Falmouth (14-3) advanced to play in the quarterfinals Thursday either at No. 4 Marshwood (11-5) or at home versus No. 13 Berwick Academy (4-10). Falmouth didn’t face either team in the regular season. Falmouth has no playoff history with the Bulldogs. Falmouth did beat the Hawks, 7-5, in the 2018 Class A South preliminary round.

“I don’t know anything about those teams, so who knows, we’ll just go down there and play our game,” D’Andrea said.

In Class B South, Yarmouth and Greely finished in the top two spots.

The Clippers went 13-3 to finish first for the first time since 2011, closing the regular season with an 8-2 win at Poland last week. Yarmouth hosted No. 16 Gray-New Gloucester (2-14) in the Round of 16 Tuesday. The Clippers and Patriots didn’t meet this spring. Yarmouth has won four of five prior playoff meetings, with a 5-3 victory in the 2014 Western B preliminary round the most recent.

Greely, meanwhile, wound up second after a 13-3 campaign, which culminated with an 11-1 (five-inning) home victory over Gray-New Gloucester last week. The Rangers hosted No. 15 Morse (5-10) in their Round of 16 contest Tuesday. On May 17, Greely beat the visiting Shipbuilders, 7-0. The teams played just once before in the playoffs, a 4-0 Rangers win in the 2019 Class B South quarterfinals.

Freeport wound up 10-6 and ninth in the region, following last week’s 13-6 victory at Lake Region, which snapped a six-game skid. The Falcons were at No. 8 Fryeburg Academy (11-5) Tuesday in the Round of 16. The teams didn’t play this year and had no playoff history.

In Class C South, the Waynflete/NYA co-op team beat visiting Lake Region, 9-1, in its finale last week to wind up 11-5, a program-best for regular season victories, which was good for fifth in the region. Waynflete/NYA hosted No. 12 Mountain Valley (4-8) in the preliminary round Monday and in the first-ever encounter between the squads, Waynflete/NYA rolled, 13-1, in five innings. Winning pitcher Luke Josephson and Mike Belleau each blasted two-run homers in an eight-run second inning. Belleau finished with three hits, driving in six runs. Liam Slocumb added three hits, including a double, while Will Jackson had two hits.

Waynflete/NYA will next face No. 4 Lisbon (13-2) or No. 13 Madison (4-11) in a quarterfinal round contest Thursday. Waynflete/NYA did not play either team this season and has no playoff history with either potential foe.

Looking ahead, the quarterfinals are Thursday and the semifinals will be played Saturday. Those games will be played on the fields of the higher seeds.

Boys’ lacrosse

Despite dropping its final four outings, including a 9-5 setback at Berwick Academy last Wednesday, Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team earned the top seed in Class A North with an 8-4 record. Wednesday, Falmouth hosts either No. 8 Maine Central Institute (3-7) or No. 9 Cheverus (5-7). Falmouth didn’t face either team this season and has no prior playoff history with either potential foe.

In Class B, reigning champion Yarmouth ended up 6-6 after closing with a 15-10 home win over York last week and wound up sixth. The Clippers will host No. 11 Brewer (6-5) in Thursday’s state preliminary round. The teams didn’t meet this year and have no playoff history.

Greely went 5-7 in the regular season, capped by last week’s 17-2 win at Freeport (Lucas Cook and D.J. Kenney each scored four goals), and wound up 10th in Class B. The Rangers go to No. 7 Camden Hills (10-2) for the state preliminary round Thursday. The teams didn’t meet this year and have no playoff history.

In Class C, reigning champion NYA takes a 7-5 record and the No. 4 seed into Thursday’s state preliminary round contest against No. 13 Erskine Academy (1-10). The teams have no history.

Freeport closed with a 17-2 home loss to Greely and finished 1-11 and 14th in Class C. The Falcons are at No. 3 Wells (8-4) in Thursday’s state preliminary round. The teams have no history.

The lacrosse semifinals will be held Friday and Saturday on the fields of the higher seeds.

Girls’ lacrosse

Freeport’s Kate Tracy and Yarmouth’s Anna Thornton battle for a loose ball during the Clippers’ 17-6 victory last week. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth closed on a 10-game win streak, downing both host Freeport and visiting York by 17-6 scores last week. Against the Falcons, Katelyn D’Appolonia and Annie Lowenstein both scored six goals.

“We just came out strong,” D’Appolonia said. “Freeport’s always a good team to play. We just wanted to play our game and we prevailed.”

“I thought it would be a lot closer, so I’m very proud of the girls,” Clippers coach Dorothy Holt said.

Lowenstein and Natalie Teare then both scored five goals in the win over the Wildcats. Yarmouth (11-1) earned the top seed for the Class B state playoffs and a bye into Saturday’s quarterfinal round, where it will host either No. 8 Cony (7-5) or two-time reigning champion and recent nemesis Cape Elizabeth (3-9). The Clippers didn’t face the Rams this year and the teams have never played in the postseason. Yarmouth swept the Capers this season, winning 9-3 in Cape Elizabeth and 13-5 at home. The teams have split four prior playoff matchups with the Capers’ 12-11 (triple overtime) win in the 2019 Class B state final the most recent.

“We’re playing as a team and it’s fun to watch,” Holt said. “We still have things to improve on and work to do.”

Greely finished 9-3 and second in Class B after closing with a 12-6 home win over Cape Elizabeth. Sam Goldburg scored five times. The Rangers host No. 15 Westbrook (1-11) in the state preliminary round Thursday. The teams didn’t meet this year. They’ve played just once before in the postseason, a 15-4 Greely win the 2002 preliminary round.

Two-time reigning champion Falmouth once again held off Windham for the top spot in Class A North, following a 9-3 regular season. Falmouth hosts No. 8 Edward Little (1-11) in the state quarterfinals Friday. The teams have no history.

In Class C, Freeport earned the top seed after a 9-3 campaign, which culminated with a 17-6 home loss to Yarmouth. Savannah Tracy had three goals for the Falcons.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I hoped it would be a lot closer,” Freeport coach Marcia Wood said. “I was optimistic when there was a low score to start, but unfortunately, we don’t have the stamina to hang the whole game.”

The Falcons earned a bye into the state quarterfinals, where they will host either No. 8 St. Dom’s (5-7) or No. 9 Erskine Academy (4-8) Saturday. Freeport beat the visiting Saints, 19-7, back on May 12 and didn’t face Erskine this year. The Falcons have no postseason history with either school.

NYA went 7-5 during the regular season and will be the No. 5 seed in Class C. The Panthers visit No. 4 Lake Region (7-5) in Saturday’s state quarterfinals. On May 8, NYA lost at the Lakers, 10-7. The Panthers are 0-2 all-time versus Lake Region in the playoffs, falling in the 2018 state quarterfinals (19-6) and in the 2019 state semifinals (11-10).

The lacrosse semifinals will be held Friday and Saturday on the fields of the higher seeds.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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