Entering Wednesday afternoon’s matchup against No. 1 Taunton, Franklin softball coach Kate Fallon-Comeau laid out the situation her team faced against the defending Division 1 state champions and winners of 28 straight games.
“I told them they had nothing to lose,” Fallon-Comeau said with a laugh. “I told them to just go out and play the game and it would work itself out.”
That approach proved to be effective as junior first baseman Sarah Jackson hit a go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to help host Franklin defeat Taunton, 2-1, handing the Tigers their first loss since April 28, 2018.
“Our team was hyped from pitch one in the first inning to out number three in the seventh inning,” Fallon-Comeau said of her Panthers (4-1). “We’re all really excited to have played such a great game.”
Taunton (7-1) struck first when sophomore Hanna Aldridge hit a run-scoring single in the top of the fourth to account for the visitors lone run off Franklin senior pitcher Jackie Cherry, who went the distance and struck out four.
Franklin fought back, however, in the bottom of the fourth when junior third baseman Maddie White managed a key RBI single, scoring sophomore Molly Collins to tie the game at one apiece.
An inning later, Jackson stepped up and delivered the game-winning solo homer for the Panthers.
“We held on for dear life after [Jackson’s] home run,” Fallon-Comeau said. “The energy definitely heightened after that.”Ethan Schroeder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.