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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Cossette Started Softball Early and Excelled

A leadoff hitter all four years she played Varsity Softball at Tri-County, Ava Cossette celebrated her 100th career hit this year, a feat despite losing play time to COVID.

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
At a very young age Franklin’s Ava Cossette was watching her older brother Zack, 12 years older, playing baseball. She soon learned to not only love the game itself, but the shortstop position in general.
“I loved going to the games and watching him play; I think I was around five years old and was obsessed with the shortstop position,” she said. “I basically became a shortstop because of him, if he could do it I could do it better.”
With her glove in her hand and a bat on her shoulder Cossette began playing youth softball for Franklin. In the beginning it was a new position just about every day, but by the time that she reached the sixth grade, her coaches had tapped her as the team’s third baseman, because she not only had the strongest arm, but was the only one who could get the ball across the diamond. Her dream to play in her brother’s footsteps came two years later during middle school when she was moved from third to short; a position she has played ever since.
Now playing the position she solely desired to play, Ava had to decide if she was going to go to the high school or apply for Tri-County Regional Vocational High School, both in Franklin. Her decision would be based on her health.
“Growing up I always had health issues and was in and out of hospitals, but the nurses who cared for me where all so nice,” Cossette said. “The medical field was always in my sight, so I wanted to give it a try. No matter what school I decided on I would get a degree, but with Tri County I would come away with a specific education.”
After choosing to attend Tri-County, Cossette was not only nervous but excited to get on the softball field and try out for the team. She noted that tryouts were her favorite time of the year, but being a freshman at a new school, she was a little apprehensive due to the fact that she was so much younger.
“I was the only freshman to make the varsity team, and being so young and having to play with the older girls made me nervous,” she said. “But I soon found out that they made it super easy to play my favorite sport. Mentally knowing that they were better than I was, the captains that year didn’t see age, they just saw talent.”
Cossette knew that, despite what the captains saw in her, she still had to prove herself and earn her way onto the field. When she got her first start as a freshman, she knew she had made it but knew that she also wanted to continue to improve if she wanted to hang around. 
Ava’s original goal was easy, get on base, a goal she fully accepted and ran with. During her TC softball days, she found herself as the Cougars lead-off hitter all four seasons. Over her first two campaigns with the Cougars, Cossette would step into the right side of the batters box to face opposing pitchers, but over the last two seasons she found herself batting more from the left-hand side of the plate.
Coach Carol Savino of the Mass Drifters, Cossette’s club team noticed something in the young softball player and decided to make her a left-handed slap hitter, something Cossette has learned to love.
“Coach Savino told me that she knew that I was not a power hitter, but I could be a great slap hitter. I love trying new things, so I gave it a try,” she said. “I really didn’t know what to expect, but eventually picked things up and became a lot better than I ever expect to be. Coach Savino taught me the basics of slap hitting and gave me the drills I needed to succeed.”
Tri-County head coach Stephanie Caffrey has really been impressed with Cossette learning how to slap hit.
“She was not really a big hitter as a righty, but as a left slap hitter she has really made a name for herself,” the Cougars Coach said. “She was our leadoff hitter all four years and even celebrated her 100th career hit this year and being that her first year had COVID implications, this is an incredible accomplishment.”
Caffrey went on to say that her leadoff hitter always seemed to find a way to get on base, and once there, was a great base runner.
“Once she got on base, I usually didn’t have to tell her anything; she knew what had to be done and when,” Caffrey said. “Unfortunately, now that she is leaving, I am going to have to pay more attention to my base runners come next season.”
Cossette noted that one of her favorite parts of the game was getting on base and being able to run wild.
“I really love baserunning, its probably the most active part of softball. It’s a high adrenaline rush for me and keeps the defense on their toes. I have even learned competitive leading which makes the opposition think I’m going to steal every time,” she said. “Bad decisions on the bases, I’ve probably done that a million times, but how do you learn if you never try.”
Last season, Cossette and her Cougar teammates were able to capture the Mayflower League, Large Division Championship for the first time in 18 years and while that was impressive the team wanted to come back and do it again this season. Tri-County was not only able to go back-to-back with league titles, but the Cougars also went on to capture their first ever State Vocational Championship this year.
“Because of the past history that Tri-County has had, we were not even thinking about the State; we were focused on looking to repeat as league champions. We didn’t want the school to have to wait another 18 years,” Cossette said. “When we got to the States we all wanted to play well together and we did, the best we ever played. Being my senior year and to be part of this team, with these girls winning the states was unbelievable.”
Coach Caffrey went onto say that backing up this season’s Mayflower League Championship with the school’s first State Vocational Championship in school history was something of beauty.
“The seniors were a big part of the success that we had this year,” the Coach said. “But Ava was really a big piece of changing the culture here at Tri-County. She has been a phenomenal all-around player the past four years.”
Having graduated, Cossette is now headed to college, where she is planning on majoring in nursing while also hoping to continue to play softball.
With Cougar softball now in her past, it’s time to go out and change the world in a different way and maybe along the way still play some softball.