CORINTH, Maine — It would have been easy for the Hermon High School softball team to look past Central High in Saturday afternoon’s 13-0 victory.
Central is a Class C school facing a Hermon team that is in Class B and Hermon brought a nine-game winning streak into the game. In addition, Central played Piscataquis Community High School of Guilford earlier Saturday afternoon and its game with Hermon was its fourth in three days.
Throw into the equation the fact the Hawks have a rematch with the only team they have lost to, 15-0 Old Town, on Tuesday and one could see how Hermon might have been ripe for an upset.
But the Hawks strung together three-run rallies in the first and second innings, turned three double plays and received a three-hitter from sophomore lefty Karli Theberge en route to their 14th win. Hermon has scored 10 or more runs in 12 of its wins.
Central, which beat PCHS 10-0, fell to 12-3 with two of the losses coming to Hermon this week.
“We had to focus. Central has a good team. They helped us get ready for Old Town,” said sophomore shortstop Allessa Oakes, who drove in three runs with a triple and a single and also turned in a number of defensive gems.
Theberge produced an economical performance, throwing just 76 pitches in seven innings including 56 strikes. She struck out two and walked one.
“I was just trying to get us out of the heat as quickly as I could,” said Theberge. “I threw a lot of drops and changeups.”
“She’s pretty good. She’s fast and she places the ball pretty well,” said Central pitcher Becca Kelley.
Theberge’s mates played errorless ball in addition to turning the three double plays.
“I’ve got a great defense behind me. Those three double plays were exciting,” said Theberge.
“Those were the first double plays we’d turned all season,” said Oakes. “Turning them felt good.”
Oakes started a 6-4-3 double play in the second inning and Theberge started the other two in the fifth and seventh innings.
Oakes also ranged far to her left to take potential hits away from Taylor Robichaud and Tiffany Smith.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen three double plays in a softball game before,” said Central co-coach Mike Trafton.
“They’re terrific. They do everything well. They have good pitching, they play good defense, they put the ball in play and they’re fast,” added Trafton.
Hermon took a lead it would never relinquish in the first.
Hailey Perry walked and scored on Oakes’ sinking, line-drive triple to center off Kelley. Oakes scored on Sydney Addessi’s groundout. Theberge then blooped a single to center, Shaniah Haskell walked and, one out later, Lexey MacManus lined an opposite-field single to right.
In the second, speedy Claire Petersen beat out a bunt single, stole second and moved to third on Perry’s bunt single. After Perry stole second, they both scored when Oakes hit a high-bounding ground-ball single to center. Addessi walked and Theberge rifled an RBI double to left-center.
Singles by Addessi and Theberge and Haskell’s RBI ground-rule double down the left-field line in the fourth produced the seventh run.
Hermon tacked on six more runs off reliever Kaitlynn Brown in the sixth and seventh innings.
“We were a little tired but they’re a real good team, too,” said Kelley, who threw 23 ⅓ innings over the past three days.
Theberge had a double and two singles for Hermon and she also walked twice. She had one RBI. Haskell drove in four runs with a double, single and fielder’s choice and Oakes had her two-hit, three-RBI day. MacManus singled twice and had an RBI.
Kelley, Tasha Miller and Konnar Kirlin singled for the Red Devils.
In Central’s win over PCHS, Kelley tossed six innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and five walks. Brown allowed one hit in the seventh. Kelley also aided her own cause with a double and two singles and an RBI. Aly Crocker had two singles and two RBIs and Kirlin had two singles and one RBI. Robichaud belted a two-run homer.
Jordynne Littlefield and Morgan Gray singled for 6-8 PCHS.