Ever since fictional pitcher Nuke LaLoosh tried to convince his catcher, Crash Davis, to let him throw a fastball in the 1988 classic “Bull Durham”, announcing one’s presence with authority has been the goal of nearly every fresh-faced newcomer to a ball club.
But rarely has anyone done so with the aplomb of Charlotte Catholic pitcher
Carrie Eberle, who not only announced that she would be a factor this season for the Cougars as a freshman, she also earned the respect of being one of the area’s best players.
Eberle exploded onto the scene this season with a 1.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts, 54 of which were earned in her first four games. She sat down 17 batters in a season-opening, no-hit win against South
Mecklenburg, followed by an 18-strikeout effort against Providence in a 16-inning victory over the Panthers. Then, Eberle started her conference career by striking out 19 batters against West Mecklenburg. That success continued all the way to the ME-GA 7 3A/4A conference tournament championship game, when she threw a no-hitter against an Olympic team that entered the matchup with a 21-2 record.
In all, Eberle tossed three no-hitters, surrendered just one hit in six games and recorded double-digit strikeouts 10 times while recording a 13-6 record.
Oh, and she also batted .385 with 19 RBIs at the plate.
As a result, Eberle, who is the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2013 South Charlotte Softball Player of the Year, earned ME-GA 7 3A/4A Player of the Year honors and was voted to the N.C. Softball Coaches Association All-State team.
Eberle said she began playing softball when she was 7 and developed a love for pitching by the time she was 10, quickly earning a strong reputation on the summer softball circuit. But she said that starting the season in such a dominant manner helped spur her auspicious debut to the high school varsity level.
“It was good because people had high expectations for me, so to show (up) that well proved that I was (ready for high school ball) and we were going to be good all year” said Eberle. “If we hadn’t done that well at first, I think – especially for me, but for the whole team – I think it would’ve (hurt our confidence).”
Eberle and the Cougars will be tested again next season as Charlotte Catholic will jump from a Class 3A program to the 4A level, but the team’s success against current 4A clubs such as South Meck, Providence and Olympic bode well for the future of Cougar softball – especially with Eberle in the circle.
“That is definitely something we’ll bring into next season as a team,” said Eberle.