WINSLOW — The Winslow softball team closed the regular season with a whimper, its bats silenced in consecutive shutouts.

The Black Raiders opened the playoffs Tuesday with a bash.

Ali LeClair went 2 for 4, including a mammoth two-run inside the park home run, and No. 7 Winslow banged out 12 hits en route to a convincing 8-2 victory over No. 10 Mt. Desert Island in an Eastern B prelim game.

“At times, we’ve hit pretty good,” Winslow coach Steve Bodge said. “We’ve had some games where we’ve had 15, 16 hits — just not lately. We ended the year with two shutouts and we really started focusing on getting our offense back. We spent a lot of time on it.”

The extra work paid off for Winslow (11-6), which will play at No. 2 Old Town (15-1) in a quarterfinal game Thursday at 3:30 p.m. No. 10 MDI finished 8-9.

The Raiders touched up MDI starter Haley Littlefield for a pair of runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to break open what began as a close game.

The big blow came off the bat of LeClair, who lined a two-run home run to deep left with two outs in the bottom of the third and the teams tied 2-2.

LeClair jumped on a fastball and drove the ball to deep left on a line drive. The ball sailed over the head of left fielder Avalon Kerley and two-hopped the fence in left, which is 275 feet from home plate.

The Winslow senior shortstop never broke stride and scored easily ahead of the throw to make it a 4-2 game.

The lead was all Megan Richards needed. The senior pitcher overcame a shaky first three innings to stymie the Trojans the rest of the way.

Richards struck out 10, didn’t walk anybody and retired 14 of the final 15 hitters she faced. The Trojans scored runs in the second and third innings but finished with just five hits.

“I got my jitters out,” Richards said. “I just got more focused. I wanted to throw the ball well. I was throwing the fastball on the outside corner and the change was working, too.”

Added Bodge: “She can throw four different pitches. She’s only walked 15 batters in more than 100 innings. She goes after people. She isn’t the fastest thrower in the world, but she throws with a whole lot of accuracy.”

Winslow tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, including an RBI single to center from leadoff hitter Brooke Haskell, who finished 3 for 4.

LeClair and Hillary Libby hit consecutive triples in the bottom of the fifth before Jen Poulin hit a sacrifice fly to make it an 8-2 game.

“We had some hard-hit balls,” Bodge said. “It was good to get the bats going.”

Jess Pare went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Raiders.

Shelby O’Neil doubled and Abbie Burton went 1 for 3 with an RBI to lead the Trojans.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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