FHS Softball Opens New Era with Walkoff win, 8-7 over Oliver Ames


Franklin senior Avery Chalk (#2) whacks at a pitch in a 2023 scrimmage against Milford. Chalk delivered the game-winning walkoff hit in Franklin’s most recent regular season win against Oliver Ames. (via FHS Smug Mug)

Ryan Martin, Editor

After dropping four of the last five games during their 2022 campaign, Franklin High School varsity softball was looking to get off to a fast start Monday night in their season opener versus Oliver Ames.

Eventually winning 8-7, you could say the Panthers were able to accomplish that feat. With the score tied at seven apiece, Franklin, with one out in the final inning of regulation, loaded up the bases just in time for senior Avery Chalk to make her way up to bat. Chalk, now a two-year starter for the Panthers who finished the game with a team-high three hits, roped a game-winning line drive toward third base. The emphatic knock tipped off the Tiger defender’s glove, allowing for Franklin senior Dana Stott to race home and deliver Franklin their first win of 2023 in as many tries.

“I didn’t really feel the pressure. We only had one out, and having Sarah [Boozang] behind me in the lineup takes the stress of me as the batter. I just wanted to do my job,”  Chalk said post-game.

The Panthers, in their new, baby-blue home uniforms, went blow-for-blow against the visiting Tigers up to the final couple of innings. Franklin and Oliver Ames both hit their stride defensively in the 5th and 6th inning, pitching into the night with confidence as the tie was pushed to the 7th inning.

After the Tigers got a few dangerous runners on base in the seventh, freshman pitcher Sophie Sacramone impressively remained composed. The “Player of the Game” relieved senior captain Kiera Kotwicki in the circle during the fourth, Sacramone pitched the last four innings while allowing five hits, two runs, and striking out six.

“Everyone was really happy for Sophie. We knew she was capable of this kind of appearance even as a Freshman, but Sophie’s outing was great,” Chalk said of Sacramone.

The game was also the inaugural win for first-year head coach Breana Schaffer. Schaffer was introduced to the team just weeks ago, succeeding Katie Holbrook after her two years leading Franklin softball.

“She’s been such a great coach so far; we really appreciate her positivity.” Chalk said.

Franklin will be back home this Wednesday, April 5th, at 3:45 PM as they host the King Philip Warriors (1-0) who are led by former Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau.