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

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ tennis team was on the brink of its first regional title in five years at press time. The Capers, ranked first in Class B South, defeated No. 8 Freeport, 4-1, in the quarterfinals and No. 4 Greely, 4-1, in the semifinals to improve to 12-1. Cape Elizabeth met No. 2 Yarmouth (11-3) in the regional final Wednesday, after this edition went to press. The teams split in the regular season with the Capers winning, 4-1, and the Clippers prevailing, 3-2.

If Cape Elizabeth reached the state match, it would play either Caribou (14-0) or Waterville (14-0) Saturday in Lewiston.

The Capers boys’ squad, ranked sixth in Class B South, lost, 4-1, to Greely to wind up 4-8.

In Class A, Scarborough’s girls, ranked fifth, blanked No. 12 Deering, 5-0, in the preliminary round, then downed No. 4 Windham, 4-1, in the quarterfinals before falling, 3-2, to top-ranked Falmouth in the semifinals to finish 12-3.

The Scarborough boys, seeded seventh, ousted No. 10 Marshwood, 4-1, in the preliminary round, then lost to second-seeded Thornton Academy, 4-1, in the quarterfinals to finish 7-7.

Baseball

Scarborough’s defending state champion baseball team was shocked in its playoff opener Tuesday.

The Red Storm, seeded second in Class A South, after a 14-2 regular season that was capped by a 3-1 home loss to Thornton Academy last week, hosted No. 15 Portland in a Round of 16 game and fell behind, 3-0, after an inning-and-a-half and never caught up. Scarborough managed just hits, stranded 11 bases runners and lost, 5-1, to finish the year 14-3.

South Portland, meanwhile, the No. 6 seed in Class A South, passed its first playoff test, holding off visiting No. 12 Sanford, 6-5, in a Round of 16 contest. A run-scoring single by Richard Gilboy and a two-run double by Ryan Thurber put the Red Riots ahead, 3-0, in the first inning. Hits by Thurber, Nolan Hobbs (the winning pitcher) and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Heffernan helped give South Portland a 5–0 lead in the third. The Spartans rallied with four runs in the fifth and after Heffernan squeezed in a run to make it 6-4, Sanford scored again in the seventh, but reliever Bradley McMains took the mound to get the final out with tying run at first base.

South Portland (12-5) hosted No. 14 Bonny Eagle (7-10) in the quarterfinal round Thursday. The Red Riots beat the Scots twice this year, 9-0 and 10-0 (in six innings). South Portland won the lone prior playoff meeting between the teams, 4-3, in the 2017 Class A South preliminary round.

If the Red Riots advanced, they’d either host No. 7 Cheverus (12-5) or No. 15 Portland (6-11) in the semifinals Saturday.

In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth, ranked fourth after capping a 9-7 regular season with a 10-4 win at York last week, began postseason play Tuesday with an 11-4 home victory over No. 13 Lake Region. The Capers scored in every inning but one and got an RBI single from Gabe Harmon and consecutive doubles from William Altenburg and Antonio Dell’aquila. Hayden Webber earned the victory. Cape Elizabeth hosted No. 5 York (11-6) in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The Capers won both meetings this year, 5-4 and 10-4. The Capers won the only prior playoff meeting, 5-2 in the 2008 Western B quarterfinals.

If Cape Elizabeth advanced, it would host either No. 9 Freeport (11-6) or No. 16 Gray-New Gloucester (3-14) in Saturday’s semifinals.

The regional finals are Tuesday of next week.

Softball

South Portland pitcher Mia Micucci prepares to throw a strike during the Red Riots’ 4-3 (nine-inning) playoff loss at Thornton Academy Tuesday. Brianna Soukup / Portland Press Herald

The local softball world was knocked on its ear Monday when Falmouth shocked three-time champion Scarborough in the Class A South playoffs. The Red Storm, ranked third, had beaten No. 14 Falmouth, 15-0 (in five innings) in the regular season and had won their playoff opener every year they’d qualified since 1989, but they dug an early hole, managed just six hits and stranded seven runners in a 5-2 loss, which ended their season at 13-4.

South Portland, the No. 12 seed in Class A South, also fell in its Round of 16 game, 4-3, in a nine-inning, weather-delayed marathon at No. 5 Thornton Academy Tuesday.

South Portland got off to a fast start, as freshman Andrea DiMauro hit a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first and Red Riots pitcher Mia Micucci held that lead for a long, long time. Despite failing to get another key hit off Thornton Academy ace Abby Miner, South Portland did score a third run in the top of the fifth, as freshman Ella Nickerson hit a sacrifice fly, but the Golden Trojans’ bats began to awaken in the bottom half, scoring twice. The Red Riots took a 3-2 lead to the seventh, but Thornton Academy drew even. Then, after South Portland left the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, the Golden Trojans put two on with one out, but thunder was heard in the area and the game was delayed. After nearly an hour, it resumed and after a walk loaded the bases a little dribbler in front of Micucci resulted in the winning run scoring and the Red Riots lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, in 3-hours, 35-minutes, to finish the year 8-9.

“It’s a tough one,” said South Portland coach Ralph Aceto. “I’ve said all year that we’re better than our record and this is by far the best game these kids have played all season. We had chances.

“The girls really came together the last couple weeks. My biggest complaint all year was I’d show up at practice and the upperclassmen would be (in one spot) and the underclassmen were in another. I’ve been seeing the whole thing come together and that was great.”

South Portland will return a lot of talent in 2022.

“I’m losing two great seniors, but I hope all the other girls come back,” Aceto said. “We’ll have that discussion. I think we’ll be in decent shape next year. You’ll see us again.”

Cape Elizabeth was a perfect 16-0 in the regular season, but that was only good for the No. 2 seed in Class B South. Tuesday, in a Round of 16 contest, the Capers blanked No. 15 Freeport, 22-0 (in five innings). Anna Cornell earned the win and hit a home run, while Julia Torre three hits and four RBI. Cape Elizabeth scored 13 runs in the fourth inning. The Capers (17-0) hosted No. 7 Poland (10-4) in the quarterfinals Thursday. The teams didn’t meet this year. Cape Elizabeth had won four of five prior playoff encounters, but the Knights took the most recent, 15-10, in the 2015 Western B preliminary round.

If they advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, the Capers will host either No. 3 Morse (12-4) or No. 6 Medomak Valley (11-5). Cape Elizabeth beat the Shipbuilders, 8-0, in the regular season. They didn’t meet Medomak Valley this year.

The Class B South Final is Tuesday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team was perfect this season, but didn’t earn the top seed for the Class A South playoffs. The Capers, ranked second, hosted No. 7 Noble (7-6) in a quarterfinal Wednesday. The teams didn’t play in the regular season. Cape Elizabeth was 2-0 all-time versus the Knights in the playoffs, with a 18-3 victory in the 2004 West Division quarterfinal the most recent. If the Capers advanced, they’d host either No. 3 Gorham (11-1) or No. 6 Bonny Eagle (9-3) in Friday’s semifinal round. Cape Elizabeth didn’t meet either team this season.

Scarborough earned the No. 4 seed in Class A South and opened with a quarterfinal round test versus No. 5 Thornton, the two-time reigning state champion, Wednesday night (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The teams split during the regular season, with the Red Storm winning in Saco, 8-6, and falling at home, 4-3. Scarborough had won four of seven prior playoff meetings, with the Golden Trojans’ 12-5 victory in the 2019 Class A South quarterfinals the most recent encounter.

If the Red Storm advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2017, they’d either go to No. 1 Berwick Academy (11-1) or host No. 8 South Portland (2-11) Friday. Scarborough won at the Bulldogs, 6-5, in overtime, during the regular season and twice beat the Red Riots: 18-7 at home and 14-7 on the road.

South Portland began tournament play with a 15-4 home victory over No. 9 Massabesic Monday in the regional preliminary round. Brady Demers scored five goals and Cullen Adams added three. The Red Riots traveled to No. 1 Berwick Academy for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t meet this year and had no playoff history.

The Class A South Final will be Tuesday of next week on the field of the higher seed. The Class A state final is Friday, June 18, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Girls’ lacrosse

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates a goal from Laura Ryer, second from right, during last week’s 10-4 home win over Waynflete. Ben McCanna / Portland Press Herald

On the girls’ side, Scarborough finished second in Class A South after a 9-3 campaign and hosted No. 7 Gorham (5-8) in a quarterfinal Wednesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story). The Red Storm opened the season with a 14-5 home victory over the Rams. Scarborough beat Gorham in both prior playoff meetings, with a 16-5 victory in the 2015 Western A quarterfinals the most recent.

A victory would send the Red Storm to Friday’s semifinal round, where they would host either No. 3 Massabesic (7-5) or No. 6 Biddeford (8-4). Scarborough lost at home to the Mustangs during the regular season, 8-7. They didn’t face the Tigers this year.

The Class A South Final will be Tuesday of next week on the field of the higher seed. The Class A state final is Friday, June 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

South Portland, ranked ninth in Class A South, lost, 18-8, at No. 8 Bonny Eagle in a preliminary round game Monday to finish 4-8. Katie von Seggern scored three times for the Red Riots.

Cape Elizabeth, the two-time reigning Class B champion, finished the regular season 3-9 after last week’s 10-4 home win over Waynflete. Laura Ryer scored three times to lead the way.

“We’re very excited,” Ryer said. “We hadn’t won in awhile. It feels good. We’ve worked hard and we really wanted to win our last regular season game and we made that happen.”

“Every single one of the girls was excited,” Capers coach Alex Spark said. “That’s why I love to coach. Our fast start was great. I was able to get every single player in the game and every one got a touch on the ball. When you win and everybody gets to play and multiple girls score, it’s a team win and that’s the best.”

The Capers finished ninth in Class B, but opened the playoffs Tuesday with a 13-8 win at No. 8 Cony in the state preliminary round. Charlotte Graham and Claire McDonald both scored five times. That sends Cape Elizabeth to Saturday’s quarterfinal at top-ranked Yarmouth (11-1). The Clippers won both regular season meetings, 9-3 and 13-5, but the Capers beat Yarmouth in overtime in both the 2018 and 2019 Class B state finals.

“Typically, our record is misleading at the end of our seasons,” Spark said. “The girls definitely have the energy for a playoff run. We’ll focus on one game at a time. Our season starts now. There’s no telling how it will go, but we’re very excited. You have to beat the best to be the best. We’re just excited to play another game.”

The Class B state semifinals are Wednesday, on the fields of the higher seeds. The state final is Saturday, June 19, at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

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

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