2013-06-21 / Front Page

Scarborough earns Class A softball title

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

The team was quick to celebrate its fourth state title since 2007. (Courtesy photo) The team was quick to celebrate its fourth state title since 2007. (Courtesy photo) Members of the Scarborough High School softball team have found that being odd is a good thing. Last Saturday the team won the Class A state title 9-3 over Skowhegan High School. It is the fourth championship Scarborough has won in the last seven years. During that time, however, Scarborough has yet to win the title in an even numbered year. Scarborough’s championships came in 2007, 2009, 2011, and now 2013.

Scarborough (19-1) got the scoring off to an early start. Senior captain Marisa O’Toole started off the game, which was held at Cony High School in Augusta, with a leadoff home run over the left field fence to give Scarborough a 1-0 lead. O’Toole, one of the team’s three captains, wasn’t done producing offensively. The very next inning O’Toole hit a triple just left of the right field foul line, clearing the bases and giving Scarborough a 4-0 lead.

Head coach Tom Griffin said the key to the game was to stay patient and wait for a pitch to hit.

“We wanted to go back to a more patient mode, work the counts in our favor and wait for a good pitch,” he said.

That philosophy worked well in the fourth inning when senior captain and third baseman Erin Giles drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single.

Megan Murrell, a junior, drove in the final run of the inning with a base hit of her own. Murrell’s hit gave Scarborough a 7-0 lead, which they would hold until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Skowhegan scored its first run of the game.

In the top of the seventh inning, however, Scarborough answered back with two runs after six straight pinchhitters came to the plate.

“I wanted to make sure everyone got an at-bat in the championship game,” Griffin said. “They are all very talented players, so it was not like I was throwing in these inadequate players. It was nice to see all those kids produce. They made a difference in the game.”

Skowhegan (14-5) responded with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the rally fell short when junior Alyssa Williamson struck out the final batter of the game. It was one of the 10 Skowhegan players Williamson struck out in the game

“She pitched us all the way through the playoffs,” Griffin said of Williamson, who has already made plans to pitch for Drexel University when she graduates next spring. “She did an outstanding job all season long.”

During the regular season, Williamson and Giles alternated on the mound, but Griffin said during the playoffs, he knew the best arrangement was going to be Williamson on the mound, Giles at third base and freshman Maggie Murphy in centerfield.

“Alyssa has been pitching great all season, so it worked out well to have her on the mound, with more speed in the outfield and more experience at third base,” Griffin said.

Griffin said his players knew Scarborough was one of the teams to beat this season and rose to the occasion by season’s end.

“I am really proud of these kids. They really worked hard all season,” Griffin said. “They had a target on their backs and they handled it beautifully. They never panicked and never showed fear in their eyes.”

“By the end of the season, they were all playing as one. They were all focused and all supporting each other. They had nothing but confidence in each other. That is important,” Griffin added.

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