Brooke Dugan isn’t very big.
But that hasn’t stopped her from putting up some impressive power numbers for the Oceanside High School softball team from Rockland/Thomaston.
The 5-foot-4, 120-pound Dugan has hit eight homers, and 14-year Oceanside coach Rusty Worcester said he has never had a player hit that many in a season.
She also is hitting .596 and leads the Mariners in virtually every category including average, homers, hits (34), doubles (8), slugging percentage (1.228), on-base percentage (.646), RBIs (30), runs scored (25) and stolen bases (18-for-18).
The senior third baseman was recently selected the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class B Most Valuable Player.
“She is so patient as a hitter,” said Worcester. “There is no wasted motion or movement. She is coiled up like a cat ready to pounce when the ball comes. She turns her hips and hands through the strike zone so incredibly fast. And she consistently puts the barrel of the bat on the ball. The ball jumps off her bat.”
He also said Dugan is clutch as evidenced by her 30 RBIs on 34 hits.
“Whenever she comes up with runners in scoring position she produces. It’s incredible,” he said.
But this couldn’t be considered a breakout year for Dugan because she had an exceptional junior season (.524, 3 homers, 25 RBIs, 17 steals in 17 attempts) in helping the Mariners capture the state Class B title.
“She’s a good hitter,” said Nokomis of Newport coach J.D. McLellan. “She hit a homer that must have gone 230-240 feet.”
Worcester said Dugan hit an inside-the-park homer against Maine Central Institute that carried 50 feet over the head of the left fielder, who was already playing deep.
“She was rounding third by the time the left fielder reached the ball,” said Worcester, who considers her among the top two hitters he has ever coached.
Dugan said hitting is her favorite part of softball, and she is more confident this year.
“I haven’t tried to do anything special. I just try to hit the ball with the meat part of the bat. I watch the pitcher’s release point and try to time my swing,” Dugan said.
“And I’m more comfortable at the plate this year. I know what to expect [from the pitcher], and I’ve been watching the ball [longer],” she added.
She is selective at the plate.
“I try not to swing at bad pitches. If I do, Coach will give me his signature look,” she chuckled.
Dugan said she never anticipated putting up the numbers she has this season and was “totally shocked” when Worcester informed her she was the KVAC Player of the Year.
“I was surprised. I thought he was kidding,” said Dugan, who guided her Mariners to an 11-5 regular season.
Dugan said Worcester and former assistant John Frye have played important roles in her development.
Worcester said Dugan’s speed also is noteworthy.
“I timed her going from the right-handed batter’s box to first base in 3.19 seconds,” said Worcester. “That’s incredibly fast.”
Dugan plans to attend Wheaton College in Massachusetts next fall and play field hockey. She said she may also play softball.