FREEPORT — The Freeport softball team’s game against Wells was shaping up to be a test, with the Falcons holding a one-run lead through 2 1/2 innings. And then, with an eight-run flurry, the test was over.

That’s the way it’s been for the Falcons this season. Good times, fun times, seemingly on demand.

Freeport improved to 9-0 with a 14-4, five-inning victory over fellow Class B South contender Wells on Friday afternoon. After going 3-13 last year, the Falcons are flying high this spring, and the players’ confidence is rising as a hot start begins to turn into what they hope is a special season.

“We knew our potential coming into this season, we knew what other teams thought of us because of our record,” said shortstop Rosie Panenka, who went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI. “We knew we had the potential to turn it around and make this season what we wanted it to be. We have a ton of talent, we have young talent too, we’ve got a lot of leaders and we’ve just been having a lot of fun.”

Panenka said confidence has been behind the team’s impressive season so far, and she said it’s been a creed hammered home by new coach Chris St. Pierre.

“The coaching change has implemented a new mindset, for sure, and it’s just contagious,” Panenka said. “They’ve been telling us ‘You guys can compete,’ and … that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

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It was on display Friday against the Warriors (7-4). Freeport was ahead 2-1 going into the bottom of the third, then seized control of the game with an eight-run inning on the strength of seven hits. Panenka had a single and RBI double in the inning and scored twice, while Alison Brown, Lillian Larochelle (double), Norah Albertini and Vanessa St. Pierre (two-run single) had run-scoring hits.

“Sometimes (a big inning) is a surprise, sometimes you kind of expect it,” said first baseman Izzy George, who had three hits and an RBI. “I think … that inning, especially, I could really feel it. I felt like something was coming on.”

The offense was impressive, but Chris St. Pierre said defense has been the bigger strength for his team. That showed up too, as Vanessa St. Pierre threw out Payton Fazzina trying to steal in the first inning and Larochelle and Eydie Kaplan made sliding catches in center and right field, respectively.

“The team is just jelling. Everything about this team is just showing that they’re enjoying the season and having fun,” Chris St. Pierre said. “Everybody’s got that winning mentality right now, and I think that’s contributing to everybody throwing themselves around on the field the way they are.”

Wells took a 1-0 lead in the first when Kylie Corbett walked and eventually scored while Savannah Tardiff was involved in a rundown between first and second, but surrendered two runs in the bottom of the first to fall behind for good. Fazzina had three hits, including an RBI double, while Delani Brown and Corbett also drove in runs.

“It wasn’t our day today, and it’s a measuring stick now. We’ve got some good teams here (and) we’ve got to work hard to get better,” Wells Coach Kevin Fox said. “I’d like to see us go start to finish with a game, and not give up the big inning. … It seems like we haven’t gone start to finish yet, and you need to do that in the postseason for sure.”


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