Plant senior tennis player Natalie Franklin, who helped lead the Panthers girls team to the Class 4A state team title last spring, has committed to Mercer University.
Franklin also had offers from North Florida and Florida Atlantic and also received interest from Jacksonville, Chattanooga, Lipscomb and Western Carolina.
At the Class 4A state team championships, Franklin won the No. 4 singles title and was one half of the state-champion No. 2 singles team. Franklin was also a Times All-Hillsborough County first-team selection.
In April, Plant entered day two of the 4A team finals in last place, but won all five possible matches to claim the state crown, including one singles and two doubles wins by Franklin
A junior playing in her first state tournament, Franklin claimed the No. 4 singles title with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Abigail Coates of Spruce Creek. Franklin and doubles teammate Claire Mitchell Andrews then beat Spruce Creek again in the No. 2 doubles final 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) after trailing 5-4 in the second set.
Reach Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @EddieHometeam.