BOX SCORE

Windham 9 Scarborough 5

W- 050 013 0- 9 14 0
S- 100 003 1- 5 9 3

Bottom 1st
Pizzella singled to right, Gendreau scored.

Top 2nd
Edwards singled to left, K. Gerry scored. B. Gerry singled to center, Heanssler and Leger scored. Wilcox reached on infield single, Edwards scored. Jarvais doubled to left, B. Gerry scored.

Top 5th
Leger grounded out to second, Heanssler scored.

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Top 6th
B. Gerry scored on error. Kimball grounded out to second, Wilcox scored. Wilson grounded out to second, Jarvais scored.

Bottom 6th
Roy singled to right, Charland scored. Sawyer doubled to center, Fravert and Russo scored.

Bottom 7th
Swett scored on wild pitch.

Multiple hits:
W- B. Gerry 4, Wilcox 3, Heanssler, Jarvais
S- Gendreau, Pizzella, Sawyer

Runs:
W- B. Gerry, Heanssler 2, Edwards, K. Gerry, Jarvais, Leger, Wilcox
S- Charland, Fravert, Gendreau, Russo, Swett

RBI:
W- B. Gerry 2, Edwards, Jarvais, Kimball, Leger, Wilcox, Wilson
S- Sawyer 2, Pizzella, Roy

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Doubles:
W- Heanssler, Jarvais, Wilcox
S- Pizzella, Sawyer

Stolen bases:
W- Files, B. Gerry,
S- Gendreau

Left on base:
W- 11
S-6

B. Gerry, Kimball (7) and Jarvais; Pizzella, Moynihan (2), Robinson (6) and Roy.

W:
B. Gerry (W, 1-0) 6 IP 7 H 4 R 4 ER 1 BB 14 K
Kimball 1 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 1 K 1 WP

S:
Pizzella (L, 0-1) 1+ IP 7 H 5 R 5 ER 2 BB 1 K
Pizzella faced seven batters in the second
Moynihan 4.2 5 H 4 R 3 ER 2 BB 5 K 1 WP
Robinson 1.1 IP 2 H 0 R 1 BB 1 K

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Time: 2:45

SCARBOROUGH—Windham’s softball team lived up to preseason billing as the team to beat.

But Scarborough suggested that it’s going to be very good, very soon.

That played out in a season-opening showdown between the teams Friday morning, which spilled into Friday afternoon, at the Kippy Mitchell Sports Complex.

The Red Storm struck first when junior pitcher Angelina Pizzella singled home senior rightfielder Calynn Gendreau in the bottom of the first inning, but in the top of the second, the Eagles erupted for five runs, highlighted by two bunt hits, a bloop RBI single from centerfielder Chloe Edwards and a sharp two-run single from pitcher Brooke Gerry, as they chased Pizzella in the process.

Freshman Natalie Moynihan came on in relief and kept Scarborough in the game with three scoreless innings, but in the top of the fifth, Windham added to its lead, as second baseman Hannah Heanssler doubled and scored on a ground ball.

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The Eagles seemingly put it away with three more runs in the top of the sixth, as the first run scored on an error and two more came home on ground balls, but in the bottom half, the Red Storm’s offense came to life against Gerry and an RBI single from senior catcher Katie Roy and a two-run double from sophomore first baseman Alana Sawyer cut the deficit to 9-4.

Scarborough made things very interesting in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a run on a wild pitch and putting two runners on, but a double play ended the game and Windham prevailed, 9-5.

Gerry struck out 14 and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate as the Eagles got off to a hot start and handed the Red Storm their first season opening day setback since 2003.

“I’m really happy with the way we stuck in there,” said longtime Scarborough coach Tom Griffin. “We could have buried ourselves, but we swung the bat and showed what we’re made out of. Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a hole early. It was just too deep of a hole.”

Tables turned

For years, every softball team in Class A South measured itself against the Scarborough juggernaut, but that changed last spring, as after more than a decade of dominance, the Red Storm proved mortal, as their 66-game overall win streak and incomprehensible 111-game league win streak came to an end, they suffered consecutive losses for the first time in 19 years, then, in a Class A South prelim, perhaps looking ahead, Scarborough was stunned by a Falmouth team it had beaten easily earlier in the season, 5-2, to finish 13-4.

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Windham had a stellar season a year ago, but lost to Biddeford in a 14-inning epic in the semifinals, 3-2, to finish 16-3. The Eagles return just about everyone from that squad, however, and now find themselves in the favorite’s role.

In the teams’ lone meeting last spring, the Eagles snapped a 15-year skid at the hands of the Red Storm, rolling to an 8-2 victory in Scarborough.

The teams just played twice last week on a preseason trip to Florida, with Windham rallying to win one game, 5-4, and the squads settling for a 2-2 tie in the other.

Friday, on a 56-degree wind, with intermittent sun and a howling wind, Windham earned its first consecutive victories over Scarborough this century, but the Red Storm gave the Eagles something to think about by game’s end.

Gerry opened the game with a bloop single over third base and after Pizzella struck out first baseman Ella Wilcox, catcher Stella Jarvais bounced out to second with Gerry moving to second on the play, but she’d be stranded as after third baseman Kennedy Kimball worked a walk, shortstop Ellie Wilson popped out to second.

 Windham pitcher Brooke Gerry throws a strike to Scarborough centerfielder AJ Swett. Hoffer photo.

Scarborough leadoff hitter, senior centerfielder AJ Swett, chased strike three to start the bottom half, but Gendreau singled to right and after Moynihan, who started the game as the designated player, watched strike three, Gendreau stole second and she’d score when Pizzella lined a base hit off the glove of Windham second baseman Amanda Foss, who was injured on the play and had to be replaced by Heanssler, who had started the game in rightfield (Addie Leger came in to play that position). Gerry fanned Roy to strike out the side, but the Red Storm had the lead.

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But not for long.

Leftfielder Kelsey Gerry got things started in the fateful top of the second inning by drawing a base on balls. Heanssler then laid down a bunt in front of the plate and raced into first before the throw arrived for a single. That brought up Leger, who also bunted, but she bunted hard, past onrushing senior third baseman Maddie Russo and that resulted in a single as well, loading the bases.

“Bunts are one of the ways we can score,’ said Brooke Gerry. “We have a lot of good bunters.”

“Sometimes there are perfect bunts you can’t do anything about,” Griffin said. “Give her credit. She pushed it past our third baseman. We moved our third baseman up, but she pushed it past her on purpose. That was huge for them.”

Edwards followed with a little bloop to shallow leftfield which landed on the chalk for a single to score Kelsey Gerry to tie it and reload the bases for Brooke Gerry, who promptly grounded a single to center to bring home two runs for a 3-1 lead. The runners moved up to second and third on the throw home and when Wilcox beat out an infield hit, Edwards came home with another run and Brooke Gerry took third.

“We’ll take those (hits),” said Windham coach Fred Wilcox. “We work hard at hitting and try to make adjustments from pitch to pitch. My thought is always just put the ball in play. I’m a big proponent of putting the ball in play and making the defense get us out. We have some speed on our team, so when we put the ball in play it puts pressure on.”

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That brought up Jarvais, who doubled down the leftfield line, easily scoring Brooke Gerry with Wilcox stopping at second.

And that was all for Pizzella, who was replaced by Moynihan.

Moynihan limited further damage by getting Kimball to watch strike three and after blowing strike three past Wilson and after walking Kelsey Gerry to reload the bases, Moynihan fanned Heanssler to end the inning, but Windham had a 5-1 lead.

“We just ran into some bad luck,” Griffin lamented. “They put the ball in play when they needed to.”

In the bottom half, Brooke Gerry struck out Russo swinging and after Sawyer reached on an error by Wilcox at first, Gerry struck out both sophomore shortstop Samantha Cote and sophomore second baseman Jamie Kemper to retire the side.

In the top of the third, Moynihan struck out Leger swinging and Edwards looking and after Brooke Gerry walked on a 3-2 pitch and stole second, Ella Wilcox grounded out to third to end it.

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In the bottom half, Gerry struck out Swett looking, got Gendreau to fly out to right and fanned Moynihan.

Moynihan remained strong in the top of the fourth, setting the Eagles down in order, getting Jarvais to fly out to right, Kimball to ground out to short and Wilson to ground out to first unassisted.

Scarborough couldn’t do anything in the bottom half, as Pizzella worked the count full, then flew out to deep right and Roy and Russo both watched strike three.

Windham returned to its scoring ways in the top of the fifth.

Kelsey Gerry grounded out to first on the first pitch she saw, but Heanssler, after staying alive when Kemper dropped her foul pop-up for an error, doubled down the leftfield line, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored when Leger bounced out to second. Edwards flew out to right, but the lead was now 6-1.

In the bottom half, Sawyer led off with a single to left, but Brooke Gerry calmly responded by striking out senior pinch-hitter Morgan Scoville and Kemper swinging and getting Swett to watch strike three.

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The Eagles tacked on three more runs in the sixth and ultimately left three runners on.

Brooke Gerry led off and singled through the hole between short and third. Wilcox then doubled down the leftfield line and when senior leftfielder Gabby Giftos couldn’t handle the ball cleanly, Gerry came home on the error. Jarvais followed with a single to move Wilcox to third and when the throw home wasn’t cut off, Jarvais moved to second. Kimball scored Wilcox with a ground ball to second (moving Jarvais to third) and Jarvais came home on Wilson’s ground out to second to make it 9-1. Kelsey Gerry followed with a single to right and that was all for Moynihan, who was replaced by sophomore Meghan Robinson.

Robinson walked Heanssler leading off, then Leger reached on an error when Cote bobbled her ground ball, loading the bases, but Robinson kept the deficit at eight by catching Edwards looking at strike three.

The Red Storm finally solved Brooke Gerry in the bottom half and got back in the game.

Gendreau popped out to first and Robinson struck out swinging, but Pizzella worked the count full and doubled to deep right-center to get the rally started. Freshman Avery Charland came on to run and came around to score when Roy followed with an RBI single to right. Freshman Delia Fravert came on to run and she took second when Russo singled to left on a full count pitch and both Fravert and Russo scored when Sawyer followed with a double to deep center. Cote walked on a 3-2 pitch to keep the inning going, but Kemper grounded out to second and Windham took a 9-4 lead to the seventh.

Brooke Gerry completed her 4-for-4 day at the plate by leading off with a single down the leftfield line. Wilcox then singled to left, but Jarvais lined out to center, where Swett made a nice catch on the run, Kimball flew out to right and after the runners moved up on a wild pitch, Wilson grounded out to second to end the threat.

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Scarborough refused to go quietly in the bottom of the seventh before ultimately falling short.

Kimball came on to pitch in relief of Brooke Gerry, who had thrown 140 pitches. She was greeted by Swett, who singled to center. Gendreau followed with a single to center and both runners moved up on a passed ball. A wild pitch scored Swett and put Gendreau at third, but Robinson struck out swinging and after Pizzella walked, the game ended on an unorthodox double play, as Roy grounded out third to first and when Gendreau tried to score, she was thrown out and after 2 hours and 45 minutes, the Eagles were able to celebrate their 9-5 victory.

“It means a lot (to win),” Brooke Gerry said. “We saw them twice in Florida, but to beat them here is a good opening for us.”

“(Scarborough’s) a tough team,” Fred Wilcox said. “That’s the culture here, they never give up. They put some good at-bats together and put the bat on the ball. They always have a good offensive team. They’re well-disciplined and make the pitcher work.”

Windham’s offense was highlighted by Brooke Gerry, who had four hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in. Wilcox added three hits, while Heanssler and Jarvais had two apiece.

Heanssler also scored twice, while Edwards, Kelsey Gerry, Jarvais, Leger and Wilcox all touched home plate once.

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Edwards, Jarvais, Kimball, Leger, Wilcox and Wilson all had RBI.

The Eagles left 11 runners on.

Brooke Gerry earned the win after giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings. She walked one and struck out 14.

“They got me a little at the end, but I kept battling,” Gerry said. “They had some good at-bats. I just stayed calm and within myself and executed all the pitches I needed to execute.”

Kimball threw the final inning, giving up one run on two hits and one walk. Kimball had one strikeout and threw a wild pitch.

Strong finish

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Scarborough’s offense featured two hits apiece from Gendreau, Pizzella and Sawyer.

Charland, Fravert, Gendreau, Russo and Swett all scored runs.

Sawyer had two RBI, while Pizzella and Roy added one apiece.

“We just keep swinging the bat,” Griffin said. “We weren’t aggressive at first. We let (Gerry) control the game. We weren’t protecting the plate. That’s not who we are. We have to hit the ball to win because we have good hitters. We were a little defensive, then we got aggressive. I was really pleased the girls made some adjustments and got more aggressive. All I ask them is to give me three good swings.”

Pizzella took the loss, giving up five earned runs on seven hits in one-plus inning. She walked two and struck out one.

Moynihan went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits, walking two, fanning five and throwing a wild pitch.

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Robinson didn’t allow a run in 1.1 innings of relief. She surrendered two hits and a walk and struck out one.

“(Natalie’s) a special freshman and she’s only going to get stronger,” Griffin said. “(Robinson) came in and did a nice job too. Lina didn’t have her best stuff today. She pitched incredibly last week in Florida moving the ball. It didn’t work out for her today, but we’ll put her right back on the mound Monday. We’re in a much better situation pitching-wise than we were a year ago and those kids compete. It’s a big difference this year.”

Just getting started

Windham has another tough road test Monday when it goes to Thornton Academy.

“I think we’re looking good on the whole,” Fred Wilcox said. “We’re battling some injuries. We have a couple players missing. We’ll be a good team. We have some moving parts. We have good pitching, hitting and catching. These girls are used to pressure. A lot of them play in high-pressure games. They just have to slow the game down a little bit and play within themselves.”

Scarborough is back in action Monday, at home versus Bonny Eagle.

“We can play with anybody and we can beat anybody,” Griffin said. “What we can’t do is is let up against weaker competition and that’s a lesson we learned last year. I love my team. I think a lot of people will be surprised. They better not take us lightly because our kids can really play.”

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

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