Hailey Laforte tied the game with a home run in the top of the seventh inning and Alexis James singled in the winning run later in the frame when the Foran High softball team opened its season with a 7-6 victory over host Lauralton Hall on Monday.

Laforte circled the bases after her one-out shot to center field to knot the game at six. Hannah DeSousa, Alexa Mendillo and James laced consecutive two-out singles to plate the winner.

“It was a battle until the end,” said Foran coach Stephanie Dawid. “We weren’t able to have an outdoor scrimmage so we were a little unsure of what to expect. I’m extremely proud of the fact that the girls never gave up.”

The same can be said for coach Amanda Acampora’s Crusaders. They fell behind 4-0 in the top of the fourth, but cut the deficit to one in their next at bat.

Emma Larke opened the rally by rounding the bases following a shot to left field. A hit batter, two singles and Nicole Kerstetter’s sacrifice fly made it a one-run game.

Laforte took the score to 5-3 with a double and scored on DeSousa’s RBI single in the fifth.

DeSousa had two hits, including the 100th of her career.

Lauralton tied the game in its next at bat on triples by Larke and Emily Bump (RBI) and an RBI single by Maura Keary.

Lauralton gained its first lead in the top of the sixth when Sara Fagan tripled and scored on Kerstetter’s RBI grounder.

Fagan, who struck out 10 batters and retired the first nine Lion batters in order, got the first out in the seventh on a hit back to the circle.

Laforte hit a homer, before Larke robbed Amanda Mendillo of an extra-base hit with a fine play in center.

DeSousa restarted the rally with a hit to right-center. Alexa Mendillo singled to center and James lined a hit to left to score the eventual game winner.

Caitlyn Parisi opened the Foran fourth with an infield hit to the right side.

Amanda Mendillo singled over third base and hustled into second to put two runners in scoring position.

Fagan intentionally walked DeSousa to load the bases.

Alexa Mendillo fouled off the first five pitches and then ripped a two-run single to right-center.

James bunted to score DeSousa and the second run scored on the play on an overthrow of home.

Lauralton threatened to break the scoreless tie in the home third.

Kerstetter doubled, and after winning pitcher Makenna Prete notched a strikeout, Christiana Cottrell singled inside the third base bag.

With runners on second and third, Parisi caught Maggie Britt’s liner to shortstop and threw to LaForte at third base for the inning ending double play.