WINSLOW — It might have only been Game 1 of the new season, but the Winslow softball team already knows something about being battle-tested.

The Black Raiders resembled the same team that’s been one of the region’s best over the last few seasons Wednesday afternoon at Laverdiere Field. Eight of the nine spots in the Raider lineup reached base, six of those eight scored at least one run and Winslow opened its Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B schedule with a 12-3 win over rival Waterville behind the four-hit pitching performance of senior Broghan Gagnon.

The Raider offense was relentless, producing from the top, middle and bottom thirds of the lineup. Their ability to get on base, wreak havoc on the base paths and follow up with extra-base hits was key to Winslow scoring in five of its six innings.

Five of the Raiders’ 12 hits on the day went for extra bases.

“We always say, ‘Fight, faith and finish,’ and we fought today,” Winslow coach Steve Bodge said. “We had one bad inning (defensively) in each of our scrimmages, and we had just one bad inning in this game.”

Senior shortstop Sarah Guimond went 3 for 4 with three runs scored out of the leadoff spot, also driving in three runs in the win. Third baseman Alexa Petrovic added three more hits for Winslow (1-0), while catcher Cassie Demers was 2 for 4 with a double.

For Waterville (0-1), which scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning after being no-hit by Gagnon through the first three frames, junior pitcher Molly Wasilewski went 1 for 3 with an RBI double.

TURNING POINT: After a pair of errors handed Waterville two unearned runs as part of the Purple Panthers’ three-run fourth inning to tie the game, Winslow sent 10 batters to the plate in the home half of the inning en route to a five-run frame that all but put the game out of reach early.

Guimond had a two-run triple as part of the rally, while Haley Ward had an RBI double and Petrovic added a run-scoring single.

“We really try to attack the first good pitch we see,” Gagnon said. “We’re not a crazy home run-hitting team, but we really thrive on contact. If we can get hits strung together, it works really well.”

The inning started when Demers reached after Waterville first baseman Kailene Isbell dropped a pop-up on the infield. It was the only opening Winslow needed.

“We stopped executing,” Waterville coach Tom Toner said. “We had some mental breakdowns. One error and things just snowballed from there.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Guimond was a huge part of Winslow’s ability to pressure the defense by getting on base out of the leadoff spot.

“Everyone was hitting and attacking right off the first pitch,” Guimond said. “I though I would come in unfocused, but it was just the opposite. Everyone offensively is very aggressive and everyone is an asset. It was good.”

Part of Guimond’s game on Wednesday included brandishing a big stick. She had a pair of extra-base hits, stole a base and took extra bases when her speed forced the Panthers to make throws they weren’t ready to make.

All in all, Bodge said, it’s the kind of game he’s come to expect out of Guimond over the last couple of seasons.

“She bats anywhere in my lineup one through four, depending on how she’s going,” Bodge said. “I’m not afraid to bat the smallest kid on my team No. 4. She’s got such a quick bat, she always gets the bat through the zone, it’s always flat, and you just can’t get her out. She’s such a good hitter.

“I love her at the top of my order with her speed and aggressiveness.”

MISTAKES HURT: The two teams combined to make nine errors on the day.

Where Winslow as able to limit its two miscues to a single inning, Waterville made seven — committing them in bunches. In the fifth inning, two two-out errors from the Panthers extended the Raider inning and allowed the home team to tack on three more runs for an 11-3 lead.

“We’ve had one day out where we got to play two games, and other than that we’ve been inside most of the time,” Toner said. “It makes a big difference. If we had a couple more preseason games outside, we might have been able to work some of these bugs out.”

Six of Winslow’s 12 runs were unearned.

UP NEXT: Winslow travels to play Brewer (1-0), which dropped down from Class A this season, on Friday. The same afternoon, Waterville hosts Nokomis. The Warriors had their first game of the season against MCI postponed on Wednesday.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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