May 15—SCARBOROUGH — The winning streak ended for Scarborough High's softball team Friday night. And the Red Storm breathed a sigh of relief, then got right back to winning.
Thornton Academy halted Scarborough's 66-game winning streak in the first game of a Class A South softball heavyweight doubleheader, scoring six runs in the eighth inning to win 9-3. Jess Dow had the big hit, a grand slam that broke a 3-3 tie. It was Scarborough's first loss since June 14, 2016 — 9-7 to Biddeford in the Class A South final.
In the second game, Scarborough rallied for four runs in the fifth inning to come back from a 4-0 deficit and defeat the Trojans 7-5, ending four hours of dramatic, intense play.
"Thornton Academy is an excellent team and deserved to win that first game," said Scarborough Coach Tom Griffin. "But I am so proud of my girls. They could have packed it in and put their heads in the sand after that four-run first inning (in Game 2). They could have quit for the weekend. But they battled back. This is a big character builder for us."
After the last out of the first game — a tapper back to winning pitcher Abby Miner — the Trojans mobbed each other in a celebration worthy of a championship.
"It's absolutely a huge win for our program," said Thornton Academy Coach Tony Miner minutes later. "It's been a long time. They're a phenomenal team, very well coached. Any time you win one against them, it's huge.
"The girls knew coming in they had a chance to show what they can do. And we played hard and never gave up, even when we were down. We made plays and had big hits and we executed. If we can execute, we can hang with any team."
Those last words were very prophetic. In the second game, the Trojans made three errors total in the fifth and sixth innings, allowing the Red Storm to erase a 5-2 deficit. "We didn't make routine plays and it cost us four, five runs," said Tony Miner.
But back to the first game. Trailing 3-2, Thornton tied it in the sixth on an RBI double by No. 9 batter Claudia Pelletier, who had three hits in the game.
Then in the eighth, the Trojans loaded the bases with no outs. Before Dow went up to bat, Tony Miner called her over and said, "If you get a pitch to drive, now's the time to do it."
Dow was thinking the same thing. "I was thinking to myself that I had to hit the first pitch. I had to be aggressive. I knew I had a job to do."
She swung at the first pitch and sent it deep to center field. Scarborough's Calynn Gendreau ran out of room, running into the fence, and the ball went over. Suddenly it was 7-3.
Bailey Littlefield soon followed with a two-run double to make it 9-3.
Then in the second game, Thornton took a 4-0 lead off Angelina Pizzella in the first inning. Pizzella settled down, however, and her teammates fought back. The Red Storm scored four in the fifth to move ahead 6-5, as A.J. Swett and Katie Roy had RBI singles and Gendreau an RBI double.
Pizzella made it 7-5 with an RBI single in the sixth.
"I think the motivation of the first game kicked in in the second inning," said Scarborough's Sylvia Foley. "We know how that felt and we don't ever want to feel that again."
She also said the loss came as a relief.
"I think it brought us, in a way, back down to earth," she said. "(The streak) has been hovering over us all season. There's a lot of good teams out there; (the loss) could have happened anytime. It just happened tonight. We got it out of the way."