HERMON — Karli Theberge and her teammates on the 11- and 12-year-old Hermon all-star softball team aren’t used to seeing runners on the basepaths.
They saw some Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough to crack Theberge — who struck out nine, giving up three hits and walking two — and the defense, which got key outs when needed as Hermon won its third District 3 title in as many years with a 10-2 victory over Bangor.
“It feels really good to win this. It was definitely a team effort,” Theberge said.
Theberge also singled, stole three bases and scored three runs to contribute to Hermon’s potent offense that touched Bangor pitcher Kathryn Sund for six hits and scored five of their 10 runs on passed balls.
The score was scoreless until Hermon No. 9 hitter Meagan Berry tallied the first hit off Sund in the top of the third. Berry was driven in by Theberge with a single two batters later to give Hermon a 1-0 lead.
Hitting became contagious after that for Hermon as they scored three more runs in the inning on three hits. Sydney Addessi then walked, and Hailey Perry perfectly executed a safety squeeze to bring in Theberge, who had advanced to second and third on a passed ball and a stolen base.
Addessi then scored on a wild pitch, and Emily Perley singled in Perry to make it 4-0.
Hermon scored two more in the top of the fourth to make it 6-0.
Theberge allowed only one baserunner in the first three innings, and struck out seven of the first 10 batters she faced, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth.
Sund led off the inning with a single, which marked the first hit off Theberge in the tournament. Theberge struck out Page Cadorette, but Maeve Harrigan reached on an error by Hermon shortstop Perley, advancing Sund to second. Quinn Wood then hit a ball that tipped off Abby Hartsgrove’s glove in center, but Sund hesitated and was tagged out at home on the throw. Harrigan scored on another Hermon error, but Theberge got Abbey Ray to ground out to escape the inning with minimal damage.
“I’ve told Karli that sometimes you have to pitch through adversity, and tonight we weren’t at our best, but we got it done and I’m proud of our team,” said Jody Theberge, one of Hermon’s two coaches and Karli’s father.
Bangor scored one run in the fifth, but Hermon answered with four more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.
Alessa Oakes — Hermon’s other pitcher and daughter of coach Aaron Oakes — Adessi and Perry each singled and scored two runs for Hermon.
Megan Connor, Sund and Jenn Bishop had Bangor’s three hits off Theberge, and Bishop scored the second run.
Hermon, which won the 9- and 10-year-old state championship two years ago with most of the same players and advanced to the 11-12 state tournament last year, will play July 9 in its state tournament opener.
Hermon 004 204 — 10 6 4
Bangor 000 110 — 2 3 5
Theberge and Addessi; Sund and Wood