Softball: Scarborough hurls Gorham from playoffs

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Michelle Rowe reels in a flyball in centerfield vs. Scarborough.

SCARBOROUGH – Gorham fell, despite excellent work in the circle by pitcher Grace McGouldrick and behind the plate by catcher Emma Shields, to the top-ranked Red Storm on Thursday afternoon, June 8. Scarborough’s own pitching – the handiwork of Abby Murrell –  and their overpowering hitting simply proved too much, to the tune of 8-0, for the Rams, who exit the postseason on the quarterfinals loss.

“Even though the score was 8-0, I thought our girls did well,” said Gorham head coach Renee Whipkey. “We knew defensively we had to be focused in on every single pitch and we knew we were going to have to take risks if we wanted to make the big plays.”

Scarborough put up two runs in the first – Chloe Griffin and Laura Powell both rounded to home for the Storm – and one in the second (a Hannah Ricker contribution), before blowing the board wide open with a big third, when Murrell, Lindsey Kelley, Ricker and Courtney Brochu all scored. Murrell scored again in the fourth to cap Scarborough’s offensive push. 

Actually, it’s to Gorham’s great credit that they held the Storm silent in the fifth and sixth; Scarborough are, it’s fair to say, a scoring machine. Eight runs (prepare yourself; this is going to sound ridiculous) is the second smallest scoring differential the Storm have posted in their thus-far perfect season; they beat Noble by a mere five (8-3) on May 27 and Windham 5-0 on June 10 (in the semis). Meanwhile, the Storm’s beefiest output came on May 6, when they smashed Deering into their constituent elementary particles, 27-0.

Whipkey praised her girls’ defense in the face of such a towering challenge. “Although we had a couple of errors, I also thought that we had a couple of great plays,” she said. “Grace did fantastic on the mound – especially after pitching an entire game the day before against Marshwood. I also though our catcher Emma Shields played great. Scarborough attempted one steal, and Emma threw her out at second. Plus, she was just a wall when they had runners on!”

“Offensively, we knew it was going to be tough,” Whipkey said. “We faced Abby Murrell earlier in the season and only got two hits off her. I recorded (today that) she had no-hitter.” Gorham did get a girl on base – Shields in the third; however, “I believe we only reached through errors,” Whipkey said. 

“Scarborough has unbelievable pitchers.” Whipkey said. “Murrell, and Volk…are going to be very tough for any team to face in this post season.”

McGouldrick recorded three strikeouts in the game, and Murrell nine. Murrell also went 1-3 at the plate. Griffin went 2-4, Lilly Volk 1-3, Sam Carreiro 1-3, and Bella Dickinson (just a freshman!) 2-4.

Scarborough faces off with Portland in the Regional Final on Wednesday, June 14. Gorham, meanwhile, retires till 2018 at 10-8.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME

Michelle Rowe reels in a flyball in centerfield vs. Scarborough.

Noelle Dibiase unwinds into a throw from third to first for Gorham at Scarborough.

Ram Grace McGouldrick takes a cut at the ball in her team’s playoffs loss to Scarborough.

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