Cape Elizabeth Little League

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Written by: 910sb managers
Sunday, August 17, 2014

Somewhere far beyond, Harry Caray cried, "Holy Cow!" as Abbey squeezed the two out, bases-loaded ground ball to first and stepped on the bag to seal the Cape Elizabeth 9/10 SB All Stars impossible dream tournament, shutting down Scarborough, 3-2, for the second consecutive time and claiming the District 6 championship. The final out set off a jubilant scene of players, coaches and parents dancing on the Peterson Field diamond. The championship game had plenty of drama.

Just two nights after downing Scarborough by the identical score in an equally tense game, the Capers did not disappoint the legion of family and friends that traveled down through the marshes for the seventh time to cheer them on. Cape once again had lady luck shine on the opening coin toss, securing the "home" team advantage in Scarborough's back yard. Scarborough batted first and their leadoff batter dropped a soft fly ball into short right field that barely fell fair. When the dust settled she was on second base and took third on a passed ball. Most comfortable with the challenge of a potential run 60 feet from the dish, Anna settled in and struck out the side, snuffing out the threat.

The Capers drew first blood in the bottom half of the first. Abbey reached first on an error by the third baseman, moved to second on a fielder's choice by Esme and to 3rd on a passed ball. As she so often did in this tournament, Anna then helped her own cause, driving in Abbey with a single. 1-0.

Scarborough struck back and took a 2-1 lead with runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings. Both runs scored on passed balls with runners on third, but K-Mart and Anna connected on a third such attempt by the Red Storm, cutting down a runner at the plate to end the visitor's third. The play proved critical to the final victory margin.

Despite playing from behind for the first time since Saturday's South Portland game (four games and oh, so long ago), the Capers were undaunted. Abbey led off the bottom of the third with a hit, and was again eventually driven in by Anna. Cape then loaded the bases with K-Mart, Anna, and Kat before Scarborough's own ace, Caitlin, struck out two to leave the game tied. The Capers pushed across the deciding run, however, in the bottom of the 4th. Dana led off a trio of consecutive walks to her, Abbey, and Esme, and then pounded the 3rd base line home on a passed ball, sliding in to give Cape a lead they would not relinquish.

Scarborough went down quietly in the 4th and 5th on five strikeouts by Anna and a 4-3 Dana to Abbey put out. And once again, it all came down to the visitor's 6th. Anna conceded a walk, a bunt hit, and a walk to load the bases with nobody out… and thus she had Scarborough right where she wanted them. WIth K-Mart skillfully protecting the plate and quickly grabbing a passed ball or two to hold the third base runner at bay, Anna bore down and struck out the next two batters. The final Scarborough batter gamely fought off a two strike count with a foul ball and then grounded down to Abbey, setting off the celebration. The Red Storm was more than a worthy opponent, but Cape had come into Scarborough's house and eaten their cheese.

Analise, Helena, Abigail, Haley, Hannah, Cadillac, and Clara all played important roles in the finale, as the entire team had throughout the tourney. After falling to Scarborough in the opening game, Cape marched through Windham-Raymond, South Portland, Yarmouth, Gray-New Gloucester, and Scarborough twice to win 6 consecutive games en route to the championship. While every single Cape player shined, none were brighter than Anna, who pitched an incredible 38 innings in the 7 games, striking out 91 batters in the process, and seeming only to get stronger as the games wore on.

After the game, both teams were treated to an awards ceremony and the Capers proudly displayed the District 6 championship banner to beaming parents and the clicks of multiple cameras. The team now enjoys their local crown and rests briefly before moving on to the state all star tournament in Waldoboro, Maine, commencing July 19th. One team, NEW goal!

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