BOX SCORE

York 18 Cape Elizabeth 11

Y- 014 026 5- 18 15 0
CE- 204 003 2- 11 7 4

Multiple hits:
Y- Hanlon 4, Bourgoine, Kortes 3, Raymond
CE- Chung

Runs:
Y- Raymond 4, Bourgoine, Hanlon, Kortes, Osterhaus 3, Brent, Welch
CE- Chung, Clay, Schwartz 2, K. Callahan, Mosher, Parker, Song, Steinberg

RBI:
Y- Kortes 6, Moon 3, Bourgoine, Hanlon, Raymond 2
CE- Chung 4, Clay 2, G. Callahan, K. Callahan, Mosher, Steinberg

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Doubles:
Y- Hanlon, Raymond
CE- G. Callahan

Home runs:
Y- Kortes 2 (2)

Left on base:
Y- 5
CE- 8

Y: Raymond, Kortes (3) and Hanlon; Clay and Steinberg.

Y:
Raymond 2+ IP 1 H 5 R 5 ER 6 BB 2 K 1 HBP 2 WP
Raymond faced three batters in the third
Kortes (W, 2-0) 6 IP 6 H 6 R 6 ER 4 BB 4 K 4 WP

CE:
Clay (L, 0-2) 7 IP 15 H 18 R 15 ER 4 BB 3 K 1 WP

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Time: 2:09

CAPE ELIZABETH—Repeating as champion is never easy.

And Cape Elizabeth’s softball team is finding that out the hard way this spring.

The Capers, who completely overwhelmed the opposition en route to a perfect season and Class B state title last year, have been brought back to earth this spring, first by visiting Brunswick in a close game Saturday and even more so Monday afternoon at Edmund Capano Memorial Field, by a group of sluggers from York.

Cape Elizabeth got off a strong start, scoring twice in the bottom of the first, but the Wildcats got a run back in the second, then scored four times in third, sparked by a prodigious three-run home run from junior third baseman McKayla Kortes.

The Capers then scored four runs of their own in the bottom half off York senior starting pitcher Maddy Raymond and Kortes came on in relief.

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Cape Elizabeth couldn’t hold the lead, however, as a second Kortes bomb tied it in the fifth, the Wildcats added a run to take the lead, then broke it open with six runs in the sixth inning and five more in the seventh and went on to an impressive 18-11 victory.

York, which lost twice to Cape Elizabeth by the mercy rule a year ago, improved to 2-0 on the young season and in the process, left the Capers 0-2.

“This feels really good,” said Kortes, who starred at the plate and earned the win on the mound. “They crushed us twice last year and those were hard losses for us. This year, we’ve come back better than ever.”

Reality check

Cape Elizabeth was overpowering and perfect in 2021, winning every game and steamrolling Winslow in the Class B state final, 19-4, in five-innings, to capture the program’s second state title.

The Capers have lost some firepower to graduation, but are still expected to remain very strong.

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Saturday, for the first time since June 8, 2019 (when they were beaten, 11-4, by Fryeburg Academy in the regional semifinals), they suffered a loss, 3-2, to visiting Brunswick.

York, meanwhile, opened with an 8-1 win over Morse.

The teams played twice last year and Cape Elizabeth won both with ease, 12-0 (in five-innings) at home and 14-0 (also in five-innings) in York.

Monday, on a chilly (50 degrees at first pitch) and breezy late-April afternoon. the Wildcats turned the tables and earned their first win over the Capers since May 13, 2019 (3-0 in Cape Elizabeth).

York senior centerfielder Elly Bourgoine swings at a pitch from Cape Elizabeth senior pitcher Kathryne Clay early in the Wildcats’ 18-11 victory Monday. Hoffer photos.

Cape Elizabeth senior pitcher Kathryne Clay started the game by getting York senior centerfielder Elly Bourgoine to chase strike three. Freshman shortstop Alexis Osterhaus then battled back from down 0-2 in the count to 3-2 before drawing a walk and she immediately stole second. Kortes grounded out slowly to third with Osterhaus moving to third on the play, but she’d be stranded as Clay got Raymond to strike out swinging.

Cape Elizabeth senior leftfielder Dana Schwartz is hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the first.

The bottom of the first inning started fruitfully, albeit painfully, for the Capers, as senior leftfielder Dana Schwartz was hit by a Raymond pitch. Schwartz stole second and was sacrificed to third by senior centerfielder Esme Song. After sophomore shortstop Sophia Chung walked on a 3-2 pitch and Chung stole second, Clay grounded out slowly to the mound and while Raymond was able to throw to first for the out, Schwartz scored and Chung moved to third. Senior third baseman Kat Callahan was next and grounded a single up the middle to bring home Chung. Sophomore catcher Lauren Steinberg kept the inning alive by drawing a walk before senior first baseman Hannah Mosher grounded into a shortstop-to-third force out to end the frame, but Cape Elizabeth had a quick 2-0 lead.

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York got a run back in the top of the second, as junior catcher Maggie Hanlon blooped an infield single in front of senior second baseman Clara Parker, stole second, took third when junior rightfielder Ella Moon grounded out, then came home when Mosher’s throw to third got away. Sophomore first baseman Emily Estes grounded out to third and senior designated player Jill Carr grounded out to second to end the inning, but the Wildcats’ scoring ways had begun.

In the bottom of the second, sophomore rightfielder Grace Callahan drew a walk, but Parker struck out looking, Schwartz grounded out to second, with Callahan moving up, and Song struck out swinging.

York then got to Clay in the top of third, with one swing in particular doing the lion’s share of the damage.

Sophomore second baseman Ava Brent led off by flying out to right and Bourgoine grounded to short, but reached on an error to get things started. Bourgoine stole second and after Osterhaus drew a walk, Kortes came to the plate and crushed a fastball deep to left-center and the ball easily cleared the wall for a three-run home run and a 4-2 lead.

“When I hit, usually I think too much, but this game, I just hit it,” said Kortes. “It felt really good. My whole team was cheering me on.”

The Wildcats weren’t done, as Raymond reached on an error, Hanlon sacrificed her to second and Moon followed with an RBI single to center. Estes then lined out to Parker at second, but York was up three.

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But not for long, as in the bottom half, Cape Elizabeth struck for four runs of its own.

Chung got things started by drawing a walk and she took second on a wild pitch. After Clay walked, a second wild pitch put runners at second and third and when Raymond walked Kat Callahan as well to load the bases, Wildcats coach Kevin Giannino pulled Raymond for Kortes.

Steinberg brought home one run with an RBI ground out and Mosher followed with a single to center to cut the deficit to 5-4 and put runners at the corners. After the tying run came home on a wild pitch, Grace Callahan ripped a double to left-center to score Mosher to put the Capers in the lead. After Parker struck out swinging, Schwartz then bunted into a third-to-first putout, but Cape Elizabeth was up, 6-5.

Clay had her best inning in the top of the fourth, getting both Carr and Brent to bounce out to second and Bourgoine to chase strike three.

Moon then made a tremendous defensive play in the bottom half to keep the deficit at one, as she dove to rob Song from a potential extra base hit. Chung walked and went to second on a wild pitch and took third when Clay grounded out to second, but Kortes pulled the string and fanned Kat Callahan.

Osterhaus started the top of the fifth by flying out deep to right, but the ballpark couldn’t contain Kortes, who followed and crushed another Clay fastball to almost the identical spot, well over the wall in left-center to tie the score, 6-6.

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York junior McKayla Kortes is greeted by her teammates after hitting one of her two home runs Monday.

Raymond followed with a single through the hole between short and third, then she stole second. Hanlon reached on an infield single, moving Raymond to third. Hanlon stole second and a wild pitch scored Raymond and moved Hanlon to third. She’d be stranded, as Moon lined out to second and Estes flew out to left, but York was on top to stay, 7-6.

The Capers hoped to answer in the bottom half, but instead, Kortes sent them down in order, getting Steinberg to ground out to short, where Osterhaus did a nice job staying with a tough hop, Mosher to ground back to the mound and Grace Callahan to ground out to second.

The Wildcats then erupted for six runs in the top of the sixth for some breathing room.

Carr got things started with a single to right and courtesy runner Carlie Welch moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball. After Brent walked and stole second, Bourgoine singled to right to score both runners. Osterhaus was next and singled to right to put runners at the corners before stealing second. That brought up Kortes, who this time didn’t go deep, but her ground out to short scored Bourgoine and moved Osterhaus to third. After Raymond walked and stole second, Hanlon beat out an infield single to deep short to score Osterhaus and move Raymond to third. Hanlon also stole second and Moon followed with a fly out to right, scoring Raymond. Estes then hit a ground ball to short to seemingly end the inning, but Chung’s throw was wild for an error, bringing home yet another run. Carr, who started the inning, ended it with a ground ball back to the mound, but suddenly, York had a 13-6 lead.

To its credit, Cape Elizabeth battled back in the bottom half.

Parker led off with a single to right and moved to second on a wild pitch. After Schwartz struck out swinging, with Song as the plate, Parker came home on a wild pitch. Song walked and stole second, then moved to third when Chung grounded out. Clay kept the inning alive with an RBI single to right-center, then she stole second and Kat Callahan walked. That set the stage for Steinberg to line a double to right-center, scoring Clay. Callahan tried to score as well, but was gunned down at the plate and while the Capers weren’t happy with the call, they had cut the deficit to 13-9.

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The Wildcats then completely put it out of reach with five more runs in the top of the seventh.

After Brent grounded out to second, Bourgoine reached on an infield single and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Osterhaus grounded to second, but reached on an error by Parker, putting runners at the corners. Kortes then singled to center, driving home a run. Raymond followed with a double to left-center, bringing home a run and putting runners at second and third. Hanlon doubled in another run, putting runners at second and third again. Moon then came through with a two-run single to center and she took second base on the throw home. After Estes grounded out to third, Carr fanned, but York’s advantage was up to 18-9.

In the bottom of the seventh, Mosher led off with a walk, but Grace Callahan popped out to second and Parker lined out to right. The defending champs didn’t go quietly, however, as Schwartz struck out, but got to first when strike three got away, Song reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, then Chung singled to right to score two. Kortes then ended it by getting Clay to ground out to short and the Wildcats prevailed, 18-11.

“We always come into the game thinking we can win,” said Kortes. “Our mindset is that we can beat anybody.”

York finished with 15 hits, as Hanlon had four, Bourgoine and Kortes each produced three and Raymond finished with two.

Raymond scored four runs, Bourgoine, Hanlon, Kortes and Osterhaus all touched home three times and Brent and Welch also scored.

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Kortes had a whopping six runs batted in, while Moon had three RBI and Bourgoine, Hanlon and Raymond two apiece.

The Wildcats stole nine bases and stranded five runners.

Raymond didn’t earn a decision, as she gave up five runs on one hit and six walks in two-plus innings. She struck out two.

Kortes got the victory in relief, surrendering six runs on six hits in six innings, walking four and striking out four.

“When I had to come in and pitch, I just wanted to get outs as fast as I could, so we could get back up there and hit,” Kortes said.

Cape Elizabeth certainly produced its share of offense, as Chung had two hits to lead the way.

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Chung, Clay and Schwartz all scored twice, while Kat Callahan, Mosher, Parker, Song and Steinberg also touched home.

Chung had a team-high four RBI. Clay added two, while Grace Callahan, Kat Callahan, Mosher and Steinberg all drove in one.

The Capers stole five bases and left eight runners on.

Clay, who fought through a finger injury, took the loss, giving up 18 runs (15 earned) on 15 hits. She walked four and struck out three.

“We’re not as strong 1-through-9 this year, so we’re just trying to fill in those spots,” said Cape Elizabeth’s second-year coach Kristen Duross. “We do still have talent. Teams are gunning for us this year.”

Work to do

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York plays host to Wells Wednesday and welcomes Fryeburg Academy Saturday.

“We feel like we can beat anyone and we’re ready for the next team to play,” said Kortes.

Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, will travel to always dangerous Fryeburg Academy Wednesday, then visits resurgent Freeport Friday.

“We’re just going to go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for our next game,” Duross said. “We’re going to come around. It’s still early.”

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

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