2017-06-23 / Sports Spotlight

Softball team racks up another state title

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

The Scarborough softball team has been synonymous with winning for years and showed it Saturday, June 17 at Cony High School by beating Skowhegan in the Class A softball final. Through strong pitching from senior Lilly Volk, who struck out 13 in the game, and timely hitting, the Red Storm (20-0) cruised to a 3-0 victory. It is the Red Storm’s fifth title since 2007.

Head coach Tom Griffin said the team really focused on defense to prepare for the game, knowing how tightly contested state softball finals tend to be.

“The pitching gets a little better. The umpires get a little tighter with their strike zones and games get more competitive. We full expected a tough game. Skowhegan has a strong team,” Griffin said June 20 as he and his team made a bus ride to Augusta for a reception at the Statehouse. The outdoor track team, which won a state title earlier this month, was also scheduled to be honored.

Griffin is familiar with the Skowhegan’s style of play, having faced the team in the state final in 2007, 2009 and 2013.

“We knew we had to play tough defense and get some key hits,” he said.

That key hit came in the fourth inning off the bat of Chloe Griffin, Scarborough’s leadoff hitter, who her coach called the team’s “best pure hitter.”

After three scoreless innings to start the game, Scarborough took the lead for good in the fourth inning when Samantha Carreiro and Lindsay Kelley scored on a single by Griffin.

“It’s just a matter of getting the right people up at the right time. Chloe Griffin had that opportunity,” Tom Griffin said. He said the back half of Scarborough’s lineup has been “extremely productive” getting on base for the top of the lineup all season.

Those two runs, Griffin said, gave the Red Storm the “confidence” it needed for the later innings.

Scarborough added another run in the seventh when Bella Dickinson tripled and scored on an errant throw. That was all the offense Scarborough would need and was more than enough to win the game.

Griffin said the team was amped up for the state final from the get go, especially taking the lead in the fourth.

“Our enthusiasm was through the roof. We were prepared and energized. Once we got that lead, it deflated them a bit,” Griffin said of Skowhegan.

There is a good chance that Scarborough and Skowhegan, which has appeared in six of the past 11 state finals, could meet again in the future. Both will be returning much of their rosters next spring.

Saturday’s game as the last high school contest for captains Abby Murrell, Hannah Ricker and Volk, all of whom Griffin will miss next season.

“They have all had outstanding seasons, but more importantly, they have been great leaders,” he said, adding Murrell, Ricker and Volk have served as good representatives of the softball program. All three will be playing collegiate softball: Murrell at Saint Anselm College (with her sister Megan, a 2014 Scarborough High School graduate), Ricker at Stonehill College and Volk at the University of Maine.

“They deserve this. They have worked very, very hard,” he said.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarbroughleader.com.

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