SOUTH PORTLAND — Grace Wallace was a part of the South Portland/Westbrook field hockey co-op that formed last fall. When she heard the same setup would be happening in softball, she had a better idea of what to expect.

“I was more apprehensive going into the field hockey co-op; it was the first time I’d ever experienced it,” she said. “This time, I was more confident in what my expectations were going forward into this season.”

Wallace and the rest of the Red Riots couldn’t have envisioned a better start to the co-op. South Portland/Westbrook rolled to a 12-2 win over Massabesic in five innings Friday, improving to 6-0. The Mustangs fell to 2-4.

Center fielder Haley Ball scored three runs, while Wallace, a right fielder, and catcher Delaney Whitten both scored twice and drove in two runs. Offense has been a key so far and it continued Friday, as the Red Riots collected eight hits and have now scored 84 runs over the six games.

“I think we definitely have a really great hitting lineup, top to bottom,” said left fielder Ella Nickerson, an SMAA all-conference pick from South Portland last year. “Everybody contributes when they need to.”

South Portland and Westbrook were both below .500 last year, but with low turnout bringing together the teams and uniting proven varsity players in Wallace, Ball and Madison Cole from Westbrook with Nickerson, Andrea DiMauro and Delaney Whitten from South Portland, hopes were high for a winner.


So far, it’s been all positive.

“What I love is how well the girls have jelled,” Coach Drew DiMauro said. “We’re putting the ball in play a lot, which is a huge advantage for us. It just shows how hard they’re trying for each other. … They want to create opportunities for their teammates.”

Massabesic took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but South Portland/Westbrook scored three runs in the bottom half, got another in the second when Nickerson’s single drove in Chloe Whitten, and then broke the game open with five runs in the fourth.

Three runs in the fifth, the last two scoring on Delaney Whitten’s triple, ended the game.

Baylie Littlefield pitched four innings for the win.

The Red Riots will be tested with Biddeford and Kennebunk/Sanford up next, but they’re excited to be leading the pack.

“Everyone trusts each other,” said Wallace, one of four varsity field hockey players on the softball team along with Andrea DiMauro, Rachel DiMauro and Avery Childs. “We have a lot of trust and confidence in each other, and that allows us to mesh really well together.”

Ella Donovan and Candice Daigle scored Massabesic’s runs, which were driven in by Daigle and Ava Gerrish. The Mustangs, who have had to fill holes at pitcher and catcher, have been a work in progress this season, and defense let them down Friday. Massabesic made four errors and allowed six unearned runs.

“We’re not good enough yet to make errors. Katie (Boissonneault) hasn’t pitched since Little League, she’s stepping up and she threw a great game,” Coach Kevin Tutt said. “We’re not good enough to give long innings, we’re not good enough to give extra outs.”

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