Tom Griffin has seen more high-end softball talent than nearly anyone else in Maine. The former Scarborough head coach led the Red Storm for 32 years, won 498 games, eight state titles, and has seen many of the state’s top players up close.

But in Addison DeRoche of Cheverus High, a 15-year-old pitching phenom from Westbrook, he sees something he hasn’t seen before.

“I’ve never seen a kid come in as a freshman like this and do what she’s done,” he said. “Not even close.”

Few athletes in any Maine high school sport have dominated the landscape the way Addison did this spring. In the high school softball season that just ended, she amassed a 12-1 record, with 212 strikeouts in 87 innings and only one earned run allowed for a 0.08 ERA. She pitched six no-hitters, had 23 strikeouts in a marathon Class A South final, and then followed that with 21 strikeouts in a Class A championship victory over Oxford Hills.

She achieved this under an avalanche of attention, as a state still giddy from Cooper Flagg clamored for the next big star.

She also pulled off a stellar end of the season while traveling back and forth between Maine and Kansas City, playing for her club team in a renowned tournament in Missouri while also representing her high school team in Maine.


In one week, she played the regional final in Maine on a Tuesday, flying out the following day for games Thursday and Friday in Kansas City. She then returned to Maine in the early morning hours on Saturday to play in the championship that afternoon.




For Addison, it’s been a rapid rise – and one that began with a fortune cookie.

She was 11 years old and had just attended a July instructional softball clinic held by the Rhode Island Thunder travel team. She’d impressed its coaches enough that she was offered a spot. It was an opportunity for her to get more exposure, but it also was going to mean major time and travel commitments and competing against players who were three years older.


Addison and her parents, Bridget and Joe, were mulling all that over while they ate dinner from a Chinese restaurant. When Addison cracked open her fortune cookie, she found a message that she still keeps on her bedroom dresser:

“A golden egg of an opportunity will fall in your lap this month.”

Addison DeRoche, 15, practices in a pitching cage at her Westbrook home last month. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographe

“It was the last day of July. I had to make a decision,” Addison said recently.  “I took that as a sign. It was really the first big sign that this was meant to be.”

Addison joined the team that fall and started traveling to national tournaments.

“That was a whirlwind of  ‘Oh my gosh, are we ready for this?’ ” her mother said.

But even as one of the younger players, Addison began starring as a hitter and a pitcher, and started seeing herself on the level of teammates who were landing collegiate offers.


“She was seeing they were already getting on people’s radars, and she was seeing that that was attainable,” said Bridget DeRoche. “These were girls that were on her team. She could see the work ethic and what needed to be done.”

Addison moved to Mojo-Lewis’s 16U squad last fall, a national team made up mostly of players from southeastern states. She’s one of the three class of 2027 players on a roster made up primarily of class of 2025 and 2026, but there’s no doubt that she’s the top pitcher.

“I think she’s No. 1 in the ’27 class. I haven’t seen anyone better than her,” Mojo Coach Brittany Lewis said. “Most of my kids are ’26 grad years, so she plays up with them and she’s dominating. She’s definitely the ace on our staff.”

It comes at a price.

Addison is constantly on the move during the travel season, and her spring and summer schedule for the Mojo squad includes two tournaments in Georgia, two in Colorado, one in Missouri and another in California.

Last year, she flew 21 times to camps and tournaments. There are ways to help with the price of travel; Addison flies for free under a companion pass while her parents pay for flights, and they use frequent flier miles to keep the out-of-pocket costs down.


Still, it’s a demanding schedule.

“It’s very hectic,” her mother said. “I looked at the calendar, and it looked like Addison is home for a total of four days in July.”

When she’s at home, Addison is constantly training. She has a softball setup that includes a batting cage, pitching machine and nine-pocket pitching net – so that she can practice hitting each spot in the strike zone. She tries to work out four times a week and goes to Train Maine Fitness and Performance Center in Westbrook. It shows, in the form of a strong 5-foot, 9-inch frame that allowed her to hit four home runs this spring, and often makes her one of the bigger players on the field, despite being one of the youngest.

On the road, she sometimes has to get creative to keep up. In April, the Cheverus team was traveling to Florida, and its delayed flight didn’t get into Baltimore until around midnight. The team stayed overnight in the airport, and at 4 a.m., coach John Eisenhart and some players went looking for a place to get coffee and food.

“We’re on the moving walkway, and Addison comes sprinting past us. We probably passed three or four on the way and three or four on the way back, it was a long walk, and she sprinted every one of those,” he said. “In her mind, it’s like this (was) an opportunity to get some running in, stay conditioned. Just a different type of kid.”

Addison says the traveling is payoff for all she puts in.


Addison DeRoche turned in a memorable softball season this spring, which caught the eyes of prominent Division I programs around the country. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographe

“I really worked the whole winter for it, so those are my favorite moments,” she said. “I enjoy that more than going to the pool or going to the movies, because I get to experience all these different places. …

“Yeah, flights can get a little tiring, but in the end, you’re up in the sky and you get to see the beautiful sunset, like before I came home for the (state championships) there was a pretty sunset and I was listening to my music. You’re up in the clouds, you’re way above everybody else and you get to reflect.”




The Cheverus softball players didn’t know what to expect.


They knew a hotshot freshman was joining their team, and could potentially help them improve upon the previous year’s 9-9 season and A South quarterfinal exit. But they didn’t know how good she’d be. And they didn’t know how she’d fit in.

“You hear every day how good she is, you’re like ‘Oh, she’s going to have a big ego,’ ” junior first baseman and pitcher Ashley Connor said. “It’s completely the opposite.”

A few of Addison’s teammates knew her from playing in previous years, but the ones who didn’t found a player who’s quiet, introspective and studious. She’s a music fan. She likes Zach Bryan and “The Night We Met” by Lord Huron, and made “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo her batting walk-up song.

For motivation, she’s a fan of “Run Boy, Run” by Woodkid.

“I swear, I run 5 miles with that song,” she said.

She journals about her softball and life experiences, reads the Bible and enjoys her prayer sessions with Mojo and at Cheverus. She loves nature in Maine and that she can “drive 10 minutes and be at Scarborough and get to the ocean.” She has favorite TV shows – “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Outer Banks,” “Virgin River,” to name a few – but she’s more likely to put on a rerun of a softball College World Series game.


“She loves softball,” said Eisenhart, the Cheverus coach. “She’s a student of the game.”

It’s helped her hone what could be the state’s most devastating arsenal of pitches. There’s a fastball that sits between 62 and 64 mph, a change-up and a dropball, but her specialty is a riseball that has made the best high school hitters in Maine look foolish.

“She’s getting movement that most kids don’t accomplish around here,” said Griffin, the former Scarborough coach, who now works as an assistant at Kennebunk. “They say they have a curveball, but it moves a couple of inches. This kid really breaks them off.”

And she knows how, and when, to use them.

“Addison’s amazing. She can change speeds like no other. You truly have no clue what pitch she’s going to pitch next,” said Windham senior pitcher Brooke Gerry, the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year who was recently crowned Miss Maine Softball as the top senior player in the state.

As Addison began piling up double-digit strikeout games and no-hitters, she attracted a lot of attention. She had already dealt with the pressure of interest from colleges and being noticed while playing travel ball, but players in Maine mostly had been unaware of her ability.


All of a sudden, that changed.

“To see it kind of explode, with the press and whatnot, it kind of took us aback a little,” Bridget DeRoche said. “I don’t think we expected that.”

“But it’s fun,” said Addison. “Getting mail (from schools) is a lot of fun. Yeah, it’s pressure, but just live up to the pressure and understand it’s a fun game.”

Cheverus pitcher Addison DeRoche delivers to an Oxford Hills batter during the Class A championship game at Central Maine Community College in Auburn on June 15. Brewster Burns photo

Addison has heard from some of the top collegiate softball programs in the country, including LSU, Oklahoma State, Florida State and North Carolina State. No Mainer has gone on to play for teams at that level.

She’s pretty much at the top of every college 2027 pitching (list), on their board for recruitment,” said Lewis, the Mojo coach.

The pressure won’t be going away soon. Next year, as her name grows, so will the spotlight, as it did for freshman standouts like Anna DeWolfe and Cindy Blodgett and Flagg before her. She’s remarkably level-headed about that.


“I’m not really concerned about it too much,” Addison said. “I know I don’t have to prove to anybody else what I can do. I already know what I can do, and I just have to do that on the field every day.”




She had been the star of the night, having struck out 23 Windham batters in a two-hit shutout to lead Cheverus to its first regional title.

But while her teammates celebrated a trip to the state championship, DeRoche knew she wasn’t going to be there, and was unable to soak up the moment. She had committed to play two days later in the Top Gun Invite in Kansas City with her Mojo teammates, an event that was going to be drawing coaches from many of the top schools in the nation, and which was going to run through the Saturday of the state championship game.


She and her family had notified the school in the fall. If the team made it that far, she was going to miss the big game.

“The moment afterwards was particularly, I think, difficult on her,” Eisenhart said. “I don’t know that she could really have the exuberance. I think she immediately got to ‘Now what do I do?’ ”

As the team left the field at the University of Southern Maine, Addison told her parents what she was thinking.

“For a state championship, you get one (chance), you might never come back,” she said, thinking about it. “After the Windham game, my feelings were so high. I was like ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do,’ but honestly, I knew in the back of my mind, I needed to come back and finish it.”

The DeRoches called Lewis, the Mojo coach, at 11:30 that night, and got the go-ahead to leave the Kansas City tournament early. After her family scrambled to rearrange its plans, DeRoche flew to Missouri on Wednesday, pitched in Thursday’s game two days after pitching 10 innings against Windham, and played in Friday’s game. On Friday night, she and her family were on a flight back to Maine, only to run into rainy weather in Baltimore that forced them to sit and wait in the airport.

“It didn’t look good,” Eisenhart said.


But at 2 a.m., the coach got a text: The DeRoches had arrived.

“Most nights, I sleep like a baby,” Eisenhart said. “That night, I did not sleep much until 2 a.m.”

Addison went to sleep at 3 a.m., and at 8:30 woke up to face Oxford Hills. She said she felt her energy slipping while sitting in an airport chair for two hours, but as she journaled about the travels and listened to music on the last leg home, she felt a second wind kick in.

“I was on the plane the same day as the state championship, so I was like ‘Today’s the day,’ ” she said. “Once I was able to realize that, I had adrenaline.”

Four and a half hours later, she was pitching for a state championship. After another dominant performance, Addison and the Stags were winners.

“It’s cool to have good stats and stuff, but it really wasn’t my goal or important to me,” DeRoche said. “It was ‘Can we win, and advance as a team?’ ”

That will be the goal on the Cheverus Stags next year as well, her family says. Rumors have swirled that Addison could leave, but she and her mother say she’s staying put.

“I love Cheverus,” she said. “The community and teachers are really awesome, so I don’t find I need to go move. I’m fine with where I’m at, I’m progressing fine and I don’t need to move to get better.”

Join the Conversation

Please sign into your Press Herald account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe. Questions? Please see our FAQs.

filed under: