Karlye Teman already has been on the big stage.
The Palisades freshman pitcher played on youth teams that won titles in 2018 through 2020. Her team notched a second-place finish last year. Since she was 9, Teman has played on travel teams.
She entered Palisades’ varsity program with six of her teammates through the years, and the pack helped transform a 3-15 season a year ago into a District 11 Class 3A championship team in recent weeks.
Their season ended with a 14-0 loss to Lewisburg in the opening round of the state playoffs, and they had an overall 15-8 mark. It was the first district title for the Pirates since 2010.
However, Teman was her team’s catalyst. She emerged after a slow start to become one of the dominant pitchers in the Lehigh Valley, and the Pirates’ first stalwart on the mound since Krista Marrone led them to two district titles in three years from 2008-2010.
“She was great all season,” said Palisades coach Jill Amato about Teman. “It took her a little bit to settle in at the beginning of the year. There were a little bit of walks, kind of letting an inning get away from her.
“Just the maturity we saw from her from Game 1 to Game 23 was major. She gained the confidence of trusting her team behind her, the catcher. Everything like that has made a lot of difference.”
Teman posted 13 wins, had 268 strikeouts in 150.2 innings with a 2.23 ERA, and opponents hit just .151 off her. She also hit .360 with a team-high four homers and 20 RBIs.
It was a matter of her not doubting herself.
“There weren’t many big pressure situations in middle school,” she said. “If I had a bad game this year, I had to get over it.
“In the league quarterfinals, we lost to Northwestern, but it helped me with my confidence and being able to pitch in big games. From there, I knew I could pitch in those types of situations,and I was able to control my emotions.”
Teman began playing T-ball at ages 5 and 6, and made a smooth transition to softball at age 7. She then began taking lessons at 7 Deadly Spins and Black Cat Fastpitch, both softball training centers. Two years later, she was playing travel ball.
“Since I started playing, I always was a pitcher,” recalled Teman. “Once I started, I knew it was for me. I didn’t mind being out there on the mound. When I went to the training centers, I learned how to pitch. I got to know how to throw several different pitches. I also learned a lot of hitting there. It proved to be a big help.”
“In middle school, I didn’t feel nervous because there weren’t as many pitchers like me. It was different in high school because I was facing older girls who were just as good as me or better.”
Amato figured it may take some time to adjust.
“Karlye started out as a young pitcher,” added Amato. “She threw hard from second grade. She struggled with her control because her ball came out really fast. She has always seen pitching coaches and continued to develop speed, movement and control over the years.
Teman credited her pitching beginnings to her older sister, Morgan, who pitched and played first base for the Pirates before she graduated in 2020. Her younger sister, Addison, has begun pitching.
“Morgan was a big influence over me,” said Teman. “She was a pitcher, and I wanted to do it, too. I saw what the high school game was like, and it helped me to prepare. Now, it’s a family thing with my younger sister pitching.”
Looking back at the team’s 14-0 loss to Lewisburg in the opening round of state playoffs, Teman and her teammates had a reality check of their program.
“I have never given up that many runs,” said Teman. “There were so many people around for the game, and we got a little nervous, which we never have.
“We now know what to do to prepare for the bigger postseason games. We are only losing one senior, and we all have big expectations for next year. We want to get back to the state playoffs.”
Having Teman back on the mound next season will be a good start.