HERMON, Maine — After reaching base on an error in her first at-bat during Thursday’s Class B North softball quarterfinal against Presque Isle, Hermon High School freshman designated player Bre Oakes figured her day was going to go the same way it had in her previous games.
“I thought, ‘Wow. This is probably just like last game when I couldn’t get it out of the infield,’” said Oakes, who was making her playoff debut. “Recently, in the past games, I‘d been hitting little dudders and grounding out or reaching on errors.”
But in her next three trips to the plate, Oakes blasted the first three homers of her varsity career.
She had hit two for the Hermon junior varsity this spring.
“After I hit the first one, the girls told me to ‘Go hit another one for us’ and stuff like that,” said Oakes. “I said, ‘Maybe it could happen, I guess.’”
Oakes had just two extra-base hits among her 24 hits coming into the game, both doubles. She said she couldn’t imagine hitting three homers in a game.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Oakes, whose sister, senior Allessa Oakes, was a former softball standout until an injury curtailed her softball career after her sophomore year.
“She had a good day,” smiled Hermon coach Megan McCrum. “We talked about being patient up to bat. That’s what she did. Her first at-bat didn’t go as well as she had hoped.
“She had been back in the box, so I told her to step up in the box and line yourself up with the front of the plate and she did that. She was patient, she found the pitch she liked, and then she did it two more times,” McCrum added.
“I looked for my pitch to hit. I knew the first one was going over when I hit it,” said Bre Oakes. “The second one I thought was just a pop fly to center field, but it just carried over. I knew the third one was going over, too.”
Her mother, Tammy, posted a picture of her on Facebook with all of her home run balls.
“There have been a bunch of comments and likes,” said Oakes, who also has taken some good-natured ribbing.
“A bunch of people asked me if one [homer] wasn’t enough for me,” said Oakes, who plays softball for the Maine Thunder in Portland during the offseason.
Oakes has had an exceptional freshman season for the undefeated Hawks (17-0), who will host No. 4 Old Town (14-3) in Saturday’s 4 p.m. semifinal.
She is hitting .474 with 26 RBIs.
“She’s amazing,” said senior pitcher Karli Theberge. “She has done a great job stepping up and fitting in comfortably with our lineup. She has really come into her own.”