BREWER, Maine — Sophomore left-hander Karli Theberge and the Hermon High School Hawks got stingier as the playoffs progressed and they saved their best for last.
Theberge, backed by several defensive gems, tossed a six-hit shutout and senior catcher Shania Haskell had three singles as the Hawks beat Wells 6-0 to claim the state Class B softball championship at Coffin Field Saturday.
It was the Hawks’ second state “B” crown in five years and they concluded an 18-2 season.
Wells wound up 16-4 and was making its first-ever appearance in a state softball game. It was just the second time the Warriors had been shut out this season.
Theberge allowed six singles while striking out two and walking three. She threw 90 pitches, 56 for strikes.
Wells had baserunners in every inning except the fourth but couldn’t capitalize and stranded nine runners, including five in scoring position.
“She threw well in clutch situations,” said Wells coach Kevin Fox. “We left a lot of runners on. We never seemed to get the timely hit. And they obviously played strong defense behind her. When we did hit the ball well, they made some big plays.”
Hermon didn’t commit an error.
“She had [good] location,” said Wells junior third baseman Jordan Agger, who hit three homers in the 8-3 win over Cape Elizabeth in the WM final. “She had a nice changeup and some of our players hadn’t seen many changeups. She pitched with confidence so when somebody walked or got on, she came right back and I admire her for that.”
“I threw a lot of drops and drop-curves to keep the ball low,” said Theberge. “They hit the ball well but my defense was there every step of the way.
“I felt good and I was confident as were my teammates,” added Theberge who pitched all four playoff games and allowed five runs, four runs and then one in the 6-1 EM final win over previously undefeated Gardiner.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second and two outs, Hawk second baseman Claire Petersen ranged far to her left to snare Sophie Lamb’s grounder and throw her out.
“I just hoped I could get there,” said Petersen.
Right fielder Lexey MacManus ended a threat in the third when she went back near the fence to grab Agger’s long fly ball.
In the fifth, with two Wells runners on base and two out, first baseman Sydney Addessi twisted her body around to catch Lauren Bame’s foul popup over her head.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it,” said Addessi. “I just gave everything I had.”
Senior center fielder Katie Kivler turned in the best play of the day as she galloped to her left and fully extended to catch Meghan Young’s fly ball before tumbling to the ground with one out and one on in the sixth.
“I was going as hard as I could and I got it. I was pretty happy,” said Kivler.
“Their outfield was unbelievable. They played great defense. They played a great game and deserved to win,’ said Wells senior first baseman Lamb.
Shortstop Allessa Oakes also made a nice play on a popup into shallow center to open the seventh.
The Hawks scratched out a run in the second inning before adding a pair in the fourth and three in the sixth off senior righty Bame.
In the second, Haskell lined a crisp single to center and pinch-runner Deanna Phipps raced all the way to third on a wild pitch. She then scored on a wild pitch as she slid around the tag and touched the plate with her hand.
Theberge ignited the fourth-inning rally with a lead-off opposite field double to left center.
Haskell then put down a surprise bunt for a base hit.
Phipps again pinch-ran and got caught in a rundown between first and second. Theberge broke for the plate and slid under the tag in another close play which brought Fox out of the dugout to question the call.
MacManus drove in Phipps with a ground-ball single to center.
In the sixth, Haskell and Kylie Kennedy singled and, following a fielder’s choice, a strikeout and a wild pitch, Petersen beat out an RBI bunt single. The final two runs scored when Hailey Perry’s fly ball to left center was dropped by the center fielder.
Haskell was Hermon’s only repeat hitter with her three singles.
“I figured this is my last high school game so I wanted to leave everything I had on the field and it happened to be one of my best games all year,” said Haskell.
Christina LeBlanc had two singles for Wells and Bame pitched well in defeat. She surrendered nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks.