2013-05-03 / Sports Spotlight

Sports Spotlight

Versatile shortstop keys strong lineup
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


The Scarborough softball team is relying on the leadership and athletic skills of senior Grace Farnkoff as it tries to capture its fourth state title since 2007. The team plays Friday, May 3 at Noble High School. (Michael Kelley photo) The Scarborough softball team is relying on the leadership and athletic skills of senior Grace Farnkoff as it tries to capture its fourth state title since 2007. The team plays Friday, May 3 at Noble High School. (Michael Kelley photo) Stronger. Faster. More experienced. That is how head coach Tom Griffin describes this year’s Scarborough High School girls’ softball roster.

The team, which beat South Portland 15-5 in its first game of the season Monday, April 22, is looking to carry on the success from last season.

The Red Storm made it to the regional final round of the playoffs, but lost 5-1 to South Portland, which eventually won the Class A state championship.

It was the third straight year the two teams met in the regional final game. Scarborough has won three state championships (2007, 2009, 2011) in the last six years.

Griffin is confident his team can compete for another state title.

“They prepared themselves well this offseason,” Griffin said after a practice Friday, April 19.

The Red Storm looks like one of the top teams in Class A West again this season. The team cruised to a 17-1 win over Gorham Wednesday, April 24, a 7-1 victory over Bonny Eagle April 26 and a 5-0 victory over Portland April 27. The Red Storm (4-0) was scheduled to face Thornton Academy (3-1) Wednesday, May 1, after the Leader’s deadline.

Most of the roster that led Scarborough to a 17-2 record last season is back.

“We have a lot of veterans back — lots of juniors and seniors,” Griffin said. “They know what is expected of them as a Scarborough softball player.”

Griffin said the team has a lot of depth and strong starting pitching in junior Alyssa Williamson, who threw a no-hitter and struck out 14 against Portland and senior Erin Giles, who earned the victories in the South Portland and Bonny Eagle games.

Another player Griffin will again count on this season is shortstop Grace Farnkoff, one of six seniors on the team.

“She works so hard and brings a lot of spirit to the team. She is so versatile. We have asked a lot of her over the years,” Griffin said.

As a sophomore, Farnkoff was the team’s starting centerfielder. Griffin said last year, Farnkoff bounced between outfield, third base and shortstop.

Farnkoff is up for the challenge regardless of where she is playing.

“I have to trust my team and trust my coaches have prepared us well in practice,” said Farnkoff, who also plays varsity soccer, basketball and is the vice president of the Pink Ribbon Club.

The trust is reciprocated.

“She is someone I really trust no matter where I put her. I know she will play with a lot of intelligence,” Griffin said.

Farnkoff has been playing softball since fourth grade. Many of her teammates from back then still play with her today.

“I instantly bonded with my teammates. We’ve gone to New York together, to Chicago together for different tournaments,” Farnkoff said. “It’s been great playing all these years with them. I love spending time with them.”

Farnkoff and her teammates recently returned from a spring training trip to the Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla.

“We are ready for the season. We spent a week in Florida. We played nine games. We won eight of them and tied one. We are feeling pretty confident with that. We learned a lot from the mistakes we had there. It was a great experience,” said Farnkoff, who will be playing softball at Colby College next year.

So far it looks like that training trip to Florida has paid off.

Want to comment on this story? Login to our website at leader.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top