BREWER — Sure, pitching, defense, situational hitting and aggressive baserunning are all part of a championship season.
But the most important aspect of Hermon’s Class B softball title?
The Hawks can – and do – bust a move.
“Our girls like to sing and dance and forget about the softball game,” said first-year coach Megan McCrum, who led the shimmying herself between innings of Saturday’s 6-0 victory over Wells at Brewer High. “It helps them relax and just play the game. If they see me tensed up, they tense up, so I try to have a good time and they feed off that, and it’s worked.”
Despite a lineup featuring three freshmen and three sophomores, the Hawks (17-3) played errorless defense, ran with abandon and rode the six-hit pitching of sophomore Karli Theberge to their third state title, and first since 2010.
All six hits for Wells (16-4) were singles. Slugger Jordan Agger, who hit three home runs in the Western Maine final against Cape Elizabeth, drew two walks and flied to right-center on a change-up well off the plate, stranding a runner on third with Hermon nursing a 1-0 lead.
“Our pitching coach (Duane Graves) did an amazing job calling pitches,” said Theberge, a left-hander who mixed speeds and locations throughout the game. “We just went with his plan and tried to pitch her in and out. If we walked her, that was OK.”
Hermon took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Catcher Shaniah Haskell, one of the two seniors in the starting lineup, lined a single to center for the first of her three hits. Courtesy runner Deanna Phipps advanced to third on a pitch that skipped off the dirt and caromed off the plate umpire up the first-base line. Phipps broke for home on a second wild pitch and avoided the tag by Wells pitcher Lauren Bame with an evasive hook slide, slapping the plate with her left hand.
The Hawks made it 2-0 on another close play at home, on the back end of a double steal. Wells second baseman Ali Duplisea cut off the throw to second behind the pitching rubber and sent it back to catcher Meghan Young to try to get Theberge, who led off the inning with a double.
Theberge was called safe, however, and Phipps wound up scoring from second on a one-out single by Lexey MacManus for a 3-0 lead.
“He said she got under the tag,” Wells Coach Kevin Fox of the umpire on the close play at the plate. “Even if she got tagged on the hip, she was so far away from the plate. She was five to six feet up the line. But it is what it is. I’m not complaining.”
Hermon put the game out of reach with a three-run sixth on singles by Haskell, Kylie Kennedy and Claire Petersen, and a fly to right-center by Hailey Perry that glanced off the glove of a Wells outfielder.
“We were more stressed out because we’re all seniors,” said Wells first baseman Sophie Lamb. “It’s like, last chance.
“They’re all young so they’re like, we can do this again. I feel like they’re going to have three more great years coming at them.”
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or