Biddeford junior Charlotte Donovan compiled a 17-1 record as a pitcher and batted .500 while leading the Tigers to the Class A state championship. But her greatest asset may have been her fiery competitiveness. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Before every Biddeford High softball game, during the pregame warm-ups, Charlotte Donovan is out in the field. Even though she is the Tigers’ ace pitcher, she’ll be out at shortstop, fielding grounders, taking cut-off throws and participating in drills.

“She’s the only pitcher, probably, in the league who takes infield practice at shortstop,” said Biddeford Coach Mike Fecteau. “You’d think she’s starting at shortstop. … She’s very dedicated, really works hard, and tries to perfect all the aspects of her game.”

Donovan, a junior, did it all this season, dominating as a pitcher and excelling as a hitter while leading the Tigers to the Class A championship, one year after a tough defeat in the state final. For her performance, Donovan is the 2022 Varsity Maine Player of the Year in softball.

The statistics tell a complete story. She went 17-1 in the circle, allowing only 68 hits in 110 innings, striking out 162 and compiling a 0.89 ERA. She batted .500 with 34 hits, slugged three home runs, drove in 29 runs and scored 33 from the leadoff spot.

With Donovan leading the way, Biddeford rebounded from a 7-4 loss to Skowhegan in last year’s state championship game to defeat Messalonskee 8-1 in the Class A final this year.

“Honestly, it was relief,” she said of winning the championship. “It was a big expectation to come back and win it this year, and that’s a lot of pressure from the beginning of this season to the end. The first thing I felt after that last pitch was definitely relief, and then all the excitement and joy came after that.”


Donovan’s greatest asset may have been her fiery competitiveness. Her focus was evident from the stands, and her intensity manifested itself in everything she did on the field.

“If you watch her (in the circle), you look at her face and how determined she was when she’s looking for signs from (catcher) Chantelle (Bouchard),” Fecteau said, “It’s ‘You’re going to have to hit my best pitch.’ … She was just so focused and so confident, and she wanted to win.”

In the dugout, Donovan was all smiles and laughs with her teammates. On the field, her edge revealed itself.

“Softball has definitely always been my one true love,” she said. “I don’t like to lose. … I’m a very serious person. When I want to win, I want to win, and the goofiness kind of goes away.”

Donovan spoke to her team about goals before the season.

“I try to bring people up, but I also try to light a fire under their butt,” she said. “I try to bring the mom aspect to the team, pretty much. That’s always come to me. I’ve always been the loudest. I have a big mouth.”

In the playoffs, she backed it up. In the Class A South final, Donovan beat No. 1 seed Windham 2-0 while striking out nine and doubling against Maine Gatorade Player of the Year Brooke Gerry to start the winning rally. In the state championship game, she struck out 14 Messalonskee hitters while helping her cause with a home run.

There was a mission before the season. Donovan made sure it was accomplished.

“She was focused this year,” Fecteau said. “All she wanted to do was win. … Charlotte just took the bull by the horns. When she’s in that circle, she’s a competitor.”

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