PORTLAND—The hype was real.

And justified.

Because Cheverus freshman ace Addison DeRoche is as good as advertised.

And if you haven’t heard much about her yet, brace yourself, as she’s poised to take the local softball world by storm.

Tuesday afternoon at Shea Field, DeRoche made her debut on the mound for the Stags, who expect to be a top contender in 2024, against a Scarborough Red Storm squad which has long been the gold standard in Class A South and has long been a thorn in Cheverus’ side.

DeRoche made her presence felt immediately by striking out the side in the top of the first inning, then she doubled in a run in the bottom half to help produce a 2-0 lead.


And that was more run support than she would need.

DeRoche was perfect through three innings, striking out seven batters in that span, and in the bottom of the third, she tripled in a run and scored another to make it 4-0.

With DeRoche continuing to hold the Red Storm at bay, although she did surrender one walk on a full count pitch, the Stags ended all doubt in the bottom of the sixth, as sophomore designated player Sadie Collins tripled and scored on an infield single by senior shortstop Kelsey Cassidy before another run came home on an error.

Then, in the seventh, DeRoche capped her masterpiece with two more strikeouts to slam the door on a most impressive 6-0 victory.

DeRoche threw a no-hitter, struck out 15, added two extra base hits, two runs batted in and a run scored as Cheverus improved to 2-0 on the young season, dropped Scarborough to 2-1 and in the process, defeated the Red Storm for the first time in 14 seasons.

“It’s amazing,” said DeRoche. “Just being out here finally with my teammates. I felt great to be on the mound. We all worked really well together. I’ve been counting down the days. It lived up to expectations.”


Immediate splash

Big things are expected for Cheverus this spring. The Stags went 9-9 a year ago, a five-win increase from 2022, reaching the Class A South quarterfinals before losing to Biddeford (11-6). With just about everyone returning, plus the addition of DeRoche, as well as bringing on John Eisenhart as coach, the sky appears to be the limit and the team has already had extra time to bond, as a preseason trip to Florida featured a night spent sleeping in the airport due to a canceled flight.

Cheverus opened Monday with a 25-0 (three-inning) romp at Sanford.

Scarborough finished 10-7 in 2023, losing, 4-3, at Kennebunk in the quarterfinals. This season, under new coach Brian Rice, the Red Storm started by handling visiting Noble (17-0, in three-innings) and Thornton Academy (15-5, in six-innings).

Last year, Scarborough defeated visiting Cheverus, 7-3.

Tuesday, on a sunny, but blustery 49-degree afternoon, the Red Storm sought their 15th consecutive win in the series, but instead, the Stags solved Scarborough for the first time since May 25, 2010 (5-1 at home) and for just the second time in program history.


Cheverus freshman Addison DeRoche delivers a strike to Scarborough senior Samantha Cote early in the Stags’ 6-0 victory Tuesday. DeRoche threw a no-hitter in her debut. Hoffer photos.

DeRoche dazzled from the get-go, striking out senior shortstop Samantha Cote, sophomore first baseman Laine Niles and her opposite number, junior Gabby Pelletier, all swinging to set an immediate tone.

“It was windy, but I felt like I was spinning it well and the ball was moving,” said DeRoche. “My rise ball was working, then I went with a drop ball. I felt confident in the work I put in to be in this position.”

Addison DeRoche with the first of her 15 strikeouts Tuesday.

The Stags then gave DeRoche a couple runs to work with in the bottom of the frame.

Cassidy got the uprising started with a fly ball to right, which on this windy day proved to be an adventure and after the ball sailed over the head of sophomore rightfielder Taylor Swalla, Cassidy raced into third with a leadoff triple.

“With the wind on this field, you never know where the ball is going to go, so we just wanted to put it in play,” said Cassidy.


Junior rightfielder Delia Tremble then grounded the ball back to Pelletier, who looked Cassidy back to third and never threw to first to prevent the run, putting runners at the corners. After Tremble stole second, sophomore centerfielder Hailey Lamontagne produced the game’s first run by grounding out to third, scoring Cassidy and moving Tremble to third. DeRoche then drove the ball deep to left-center and the wind blew it almost all the way to the leftfield line before the ball dropped in for a double, scoring Tremble.

“It was a difficult day to hit with the win, but we just wanted to get the bat on the ball and see what happens,” Eisenhart said. “You usually want kids to hit the ball on the ground, but today, I was happy to have them hit it in the air. The wind is always coming off the bay at this field.”

Sophomore second baseman Anna Goodman bounced out to short on the first pitch and junior first baseman Ashley Connor popped out to second, but the damage was done and DeRoche took a two-run lead back out to the mound.

“Those runs were big,” said DeRoche. “Anytime I’m pitching, having runs and a great team behind me is awesome.”

She was equally unhittable in the top of the second, fanning senior catcher Alana Sawyer, Swalla and senior second baseman Jamie Kemper.

In the bottom half, junior third baseman Bella Napolitano Aberle grounded out to third, then sophomore catcher Anna Kennedy-Jensen hit a grounder to second and reached on an error. After Collins flew out deep to right on the first pitch she saw, Cassidy grounded into a third-to-second force out to retire the side.


Leading off the top of the third, junior centerfielder Sophia Nelson became the first Scarborough batter to make contact, as she laid down a bunt, but it came right back to DeRoche, who threw her out. Freshman third baseman Vera DiSotto was next and became the first Red Storm hitter to make contact on a full swing, but she grounded out to Goodman at second. Sophomore designated player Giuiliana Giftos then struck out to make it nine up, nine down.

Cheverus tacked on two more runs in the bottom half.

Scarborough junior pitcher Gabby Pelletier delivers to Cheverus sophomore Hailey Lamontagne.

Tremble led off with a single to center and after Lamontagne grounded into a second-to-shortstop force out, DeRoche delivered again, this time with a triple to deep left, a ball that probably would have been a home run were it not for the wind. Lamontagne scored easily on the play, then DeRoche came home when Goodman grounded to third, with Goodman reaching safely and moving to second on a throwing error. Goodman took third when Connor bounced out to second, but Napolitano Aberle’s ground out to short kept the margin 4-0 after three innings.

The second time at bat for the top of the Scarborough order went a little better than the first go-round did, but Cote led off the top of the fourth with a line drive right at Lamontagne in center. Niles then struck out with Kennedy-Jensen throwing her out at first after the ball got free, but on a 3-2 pitch, Pelletier drew a walk, becoming the Red Storm’s first baserunner. With Sawyer at the plate, Pelletier tried to steal second, but was thrown out by Kennedy-Jensen, meaning DeRoche had still faced the minimum through four innings.

Pelletier had her best inning in the bottom half, catching Kennedy-Jensen watching strike three, fanning Collins, then getting Cassidy to line out to Cote at short.

In the top of the fifth, Sawyer popped out to short, then Swalla struck out, but Kemper followed with a little bloop pop-up behind DeRoche. DeRoche went back and got to the ball but couldn’t handle it and when it fell free, Kemper reached. The play was ruled an error by Cheverus, the home team.


“I think I didn’t read it right off and I wasn’t sure if the second baseman was going to get it,” DeRoche said. “I’ll definitely get that next time.”

After a passed ball and a wild pitch moved Kemper to third, DeRoche ended the frame by fanning Nelson.

In the bottom half, Tremble reached on an error at third leading off, but Lamontagne grounded into a short-to-second force out and DeRoche popped out to short. Goodman then singled past third, but Connor popped out to the catcher to end the threat.

DeRoche then continued to hold the Red Storm at bay in the top of the sixth.

She fanned DiSotto leading off, but strike three got away and DiSotto reached safely. It didn’t matter, as Giftos struck out looking and after a passed ball moved DiSotto to second, Cote lined out hard to freshman Abby Kelly, who had come on to play leftfield, and Niles struck out swinging.

The teams initially thought the game was over, as the scoreboard mistakenly read the seventh inning, but when it was determined the contest was only in the sixth, the Stags came out and produced two more runs in the bottom half.


Napolitano Aberle popped back to the mound on the first pitch she faced, then senior Brynn McKenney pinch-hit and grounded out to short, but Collins ripped a shot to deep right, which rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Collins to race all the way to third with a triple.

Cheverus sophomore Sadie Collins slides into third base with a sixth inning triple.

Cassidy then delivered the run by beating out an infield single to short. Cassidy stole second and when Tremble reached on an error at short, Cassidy scored the game’s final run. Tremble would be thrown out trying to steal, but Cheverus was just three outs from victory.

And DeRoche produced them quickly in the top of the seventh.

After getting Pelletier to strike out on a fouled tip third strike, DeRoche got Sawyer to ground out to third before catching Swalla looking at strike three, to cap a 6-0 victory in a tidy 95 minutes.

Cheverus junior catcher Bella Napolitano Aberle congratulates freshman pitcher Addison DeRoche after the game’s final out.

“I’ve watched Scarborough for years and I know they’ve always been dominant, so it was cool to beat them,” DeRoche said. “I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile.”

“The kids played well,” said Eisenhart. “I thought Scarborough did a great job with some great swings later in the game, but we made plays which was great to see. I’m really proud of the kids. This is a big-time win for the program. It’s so difficult to beat them. They’re a good team. We had to play well to beat them and I thought we did that today.”


DeRoche was the story, throwing seven hitless, scoreless innings, walking just one and striking out 15 on 96 pitches.

“It’s fantastic to watch her,” Cassidy said. “She brings the energy and really connects us. It’s awesome to watch her play. She’s confident and she trusts the defense. She’s just a solid player. ”

“Addison is incredible, she’s a generational player,” Eisenhart said. “She’s mentally tough. She’s physically intimidating. She works so hard. She’s very poised. She’s having a blast with her teammates. She’s a great kid and she can swing the bat too. I’ve coached a long time and this is the type of kid who comes along maybe once or twice.”

Offensively, DeRoche doubled, tripled, scored a run and drove in a pair.

Cassidy also had two hits, scored twice and had an RBI.

Collins, Lamontagne and Tremble all touched home and Goodman and Lamontagne also had RBI.


The Stags stranded five baserunners.

Scarborough managed just two runners and left them both on base.

Pelletier took the loss, although she pitched well. Pelletier surrendered six runs (four earned) on seven hits in six innings of work. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.

One game at a time

Scarborough is back in action Wednesday at Bonny Eagle, then hosts Biddeford Friday.

Cheverus welcomes Kennebunk and its ace pitcher, Julia Pike, Wednesday, then is home versus Marshwood Monday of next week.

“I don’t think people are ready for us,” Cassidy said. “Cheverus softball has come a long way. I think we have a great future. We’ve had talent, but we’ve really jelled as a team. We’re really connected. We just have to play our best and if we do, I’m not worried about it.”

“We work together well and want the best for each other,” said DeRoche. “Just the thought of a playoff run is great.”

“It’s really a cliche, but we’ll just take it one game at a time, one pitch at a time and enjoy the moment,” Eisenhart added. “It’s a very close-knit group. When we face adversity, I don’t expect us to fold.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

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