Hermon High School pitcher Karli Theberge, who capped a brilliant career by leading her Hawks to a 16-0 regular-season record and the top seed in the Class B North playoffs, has been named Miss Maine Softball by the Maine Softball Coaches Association.
The award goes to the state’s top senior player.
She became the first player from Eastern/Northern Maine to win the award since Bangor High School pitcher Sam Bedore won it in 2010. She is the first Hermon player to win it.
The other finalists were Biddeford’s Kirsten Lebreux and Erin Martin, York’s Stephanie Rundlett, Bangor’s Emily Gilmore, Madison’s Aly LeBlanc, Scarborough’s Maggie Murphy, Sanford’s Jen Jones and Messalonskee of Oakland’s Kirsten Pelletier.
The award was presented at the Senior North-South All-Star games at Cony High School in Augusta on Thursday.
“I was very surprised. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’m shocked,” said the 18-year-old Theberge, who considered it the highlight of her career. “There were eight other amazing players, many of whom I’ve had a chance to play with. Someone from Class B North doesn’t get noticed often.
“This is very special,” she added.
Lefty Theberge was 12-0 during the regular season with an 0.73 earned run average. She struck out 113 and walked only 10 over 77 innings. She allowed only 35 hits.
She also hit .623 with a team-leading 14 doubles and 17 extra-base hits. He belted two home runs and was second on the team in runs batted in with 33. She also scored 31 runs and struck out just three times in 67 plate appearances.
Theberge, who will attend Castleton University in Vermont next fall, concluded her career with a 55-7 record, an 0.74 ERA and 342 strikeouts in 360 innings. She walked only 48.
She also hit .531 with eight homers, 43 doubles, seven triples and 117 RBIs. She scored 103 runs.
Theberge led Hermon to the state Class B title in 2014 and the Class B North championship in 2015.
Eventual state champion Old Town upset Hermon 1-0 in the semifinals this spring. She allowed just four hits with nine strikeouts and no walks despite pitching with a tender back, which prevented her from hitting until the sixth inning when she pinch hit.
She had pitched a five-inning shutout in their 18-0 win over Presque Isle in the quarterfinals.
Theberge was the Penobscot Valley Conference’s Pitcher and Player of the Year in Class B.
“She had an outstanding year,” said Hermon coach Meg McCrum. “She stepped up big all year. She was a huge part of our success this season. She was not only a leader on the field, she was also a leader in the classroom. She graduated in the top 10 of her class.”
McCrum felt Theberge had her best season by far this spring.
“She picked up some speed and movement on her pitches this year. She threw some nasty pitches,” said McCrum.
Theberge considered this her best season.
“I developed a new pitch, a curveball, and it really helped me. I think I threw it faster than my fastball,” said Theberge.
Old Town coach Jenn Plourde said Theberge, “really hit her spots.”
“She doesn’t blow you away with a ton of speed, but all of her pitches had great movement,” said Plourde.
As a hitter, McCrum said Theberge saw the ball well and hit it to all fields.
“She looked for pitches she liked to drive and found them most of the time,” said McCrum.
Plourde said if you throw a pitch that gets too much of the plate, Theberge would “take it for a ride.”
“I love to hit,” said Theberge. “I’m glad I got a chance to do both (pitch and hit).”