WATERVILLE — Megan Richards had no idea just what she was doing. But it was obvious to everyone she was dominating the game.

In the sixth inning, Richards had a perfect game going, and her home run stood as the only run of the game. The 1-0 score and the perfect game disappeared soon after, but Richards and Winslow still cruised to a 7-1 softball victory Wednesday afternoon.

“She threw today how she always throws,” Winslow coach Beth Fisher said. “She comes out, every single game, solid defensively (and) offensively.”

Richards threw only 72 pitches, and half of those came in the final two innings. She retired the first 16 batters she faced, and finished with a three-hitter and three strikeouts.

Winslow (9-6) put the game away in the top of the seventh, when the Black Raiders scored six unearned runs on five hits and five Waterville errors. Jess Pare singled home one run on an 0-2 pitch, and Gabby Languet delivered another RBI single on the ninth pitch of her at bat. Alli LeClair then socked a bases-clearing double, and a close game was suddenly a 6-0 Winslow lead.

Richards got the game’s first hit in the top of the second inning, when she crushed a 1-2 pitch into the tree that hangs over the left field fence. The ball still cleared the fence on the fly. Richards said it was the first over-the-fence home run of her career.

“It was low and outside, and I just got under it,” Richards said. “I didn’t even see where it went. I didn’t even know I had hit a home run.”

But for most of the game, that home run was looking like a footnote to Richards’ dominating pitching. Through five innings, Richards had to make only 36 pitches, and Waterville didn’t have a baserunner. While Richards wasn’t blowing the batters away, only one ball was hit hard to that point — a line drive by Danielle Jacques that went right to Winslow center fielder Hayley Pottle.

If there was pressure on Richards at that point, she didn’t feel it, because she had no idea she was two innings away from a perfect game.

“I wasn’t thinking about it,” Richards said. “I was just thinking about throwing strikes.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Richards got leadoff batter Hannah Allen when second baseman Jordyn Pomerleau snagged Allen’s low line drive on the short hop and got the out at first. Grace Gould followed with a grounder that died in front of the plate, and she was given a single when the throw to first hit her and bounced away.

After Winslow pushed its lead to 7-0 in the seventh, Waterville got on the board when Jenna Gagnon beat out an infield single and went to third on two errors, and Allie Forkey punched an RBI single through the middle.

“It’s a tough loss to have,” said Waterville coach Matt Madore, whose team is 5-10 this season after winning a total of two games the previous two years. “We wanted to have a win against Winslow this year, with the success that we’ve been having. It would’ve been nice, but our goal at the beginning of the season was to get into the playoffs. We’re hoping the numbers align so that we can do that.”

Waterville was in 11th place in the Eastern B Heal points on Wednesday evening. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

 


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