The secret’s out about Dominique Greeno.
Through North Thurston's first nine games, Greeno has six home runs, including two grand slams, and 21 RBI.
Not bad for a player who had zero home runs last spring. But now, power is included in Greeno’s bat.
“I’ve never hit a lot of home runs before,” Greeno said. “It started this fall, just from a lot of hard work and working a lot on hitting.”
This isn’t the first time Greeno’s athleticism has been on display. In 2009, as an 11-year-old Lacey Elementary School student, she was on a national stage as one of 32 kids in the NFL Punt, Pass & Kick Contest finals in Charlotte, N.C. She took fourth in the event, which took place before the NFC divisional playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers.
These days, she can hit a ball farther than she can kick it.
Greeno, a 16-year-old sophomore who recently got her driver’s license, is batting .520, including .533 with runners in scoring position. She has five consecutive games with a home run, hitting the ball off some of the area’s best pitchers.
She homered against Bellarmine Prep’s Courtney Schwan, the reigning 4A Narrows League pitching MVP who led the Lions to the state tournament last spring. And she connected off Wilson all-Narrows League pitcher Alex Flynn, who helped her team place third at last spring’s Class 3A state tournament.
Opposing teams have taken notice, choosing to walk Greeno rather than watch her blast one out. She said she spent the offseason, as well as her time with her fall club team, the under-18 Northwest Sidewinders, working on patience at the plate and hitting outside pitches.
If teams walk her, Greeno said, “They’ll have to deal with the rest of our lineup. Our whole lineup is capable of hitting.”
But Greeno might be on an unprecedented tear at North Thurston.
Second-year coach Pat Dahl, a North Thurston graduate, asked his assistant coaches to research the school’s single-season and career home run records.
No one in recent memory has hit six home runs in a season, and there are nine regular-season games left.
“It’s time to start tracking it,” Dahl said.
As impressive as she has been at the plate, Dahl said, Greeno has been equally good with her glove at shortstop. In an early-season game at the Regional Athletic Complex, home of May’s Class 3A state fastpitch tournament, Greeno backhanded a ball and threw out the runner at first from her knees.
Dahl said what Greeno has accomplished is unlike anything he has seen.
“It’s unreal,” he said. “She’s just going off. She’s a player coaches dream about coaching.”
Greeno’s play is a big reason why the Rams, at 6-3 heading into today’s 4 p.m. home game against Timberline, have surpassed last year’s win total (4-16 overall).
Greeno isn’t too concerned with her stats. Her goals are winning games and helping the Rams reach the state tournament. The program has just three state appearances and none since 1999.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is winning,” she said. “I think we have all the tools to compete. We haven’t reached our full potential yet. We’re still getting better.”