The Franklin County Seahawk softball team opened the season with two wins, opening with a 14-9 come-from-behind win in the seventh inning against North Bay Haven, after a 6-1 victory the day earlier over Port St. Joe.
Freshman Sarah Ham picked up the North Bay Haven win, striking out 14 as she hurled her second complete game in two days.
Senior Ariel Andrews was 2 for 2 with three walks, three stolen bases and scored three runs. Sophomore Taylor Mallon was 3 for 5 with a double and three RBIs.
Four key freshmen were all hot at the plate, as Ryan Brown had two hits with two stolen bases and scored two runs; and Micahlyn O’Neal two hits and three RBIs. Raegan Dempsey and Kaylyn McNair each had a base hit, with McNair’s line drive up the middle igniting the six-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. She scored three runs and had two stolen bases.
“The lead changed hands seven times in what turned out to be a long, hard fought battle,” said coach Scott Collins. “This was a great win for us because we kept having to fight back against a very good North Bay Haven team.”
Franklin County committed no errors, while cranking out 14 hits..
Against Port St. Joe, the Tiger Sharks junior varsity shut out the young Seahawks behind Haley Green’s pitching.
But then it was the varsity’s turn, and Ham set the tone by striking out nine Sharks while allowing no free passes. She gave up only four St. Joe hits along with a single run in the third inning to claim the Seahawks win in their first game of the season.
Third baseman Raegan Dempsey led the Seahawk attack with three hits including two doubles, two RBIs, and one run scored.
Sixth grade second baseman Addison Mallon had a triple among her two hits, with an RBI and a run scored.
Franklin County scored single runs in the second, third, sixth and seventh innings, plus a pair of runs in the fifth inning as they racked up a total of nine hits.
“They are very athletic, and we will get better,” said Collins of his young team, “St. Joe is much improved, and played us better than before. We’re happy to come out with the win.”
Collins has only one senior on the squad in center fielder Ariel Andrews, who against St. Joe collected a hit, two walks and two stolen bases, and scored twice.
Star sports reporter Ken Paulk contributed to the story.