GARDINER — Sometimes, shortstop Maddie Farnham said, the Gardiner Area High School softball team has to overcome a slow start. Wednesday’s game against Winslow was not one of those times.

The Tigers rapped out 12 hits to support an excellent pitching effort from Jill Bisson, taking a 12-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win in a game shortened to five innings with the mercy rule.

“We all came ready to play,” said Farnham, who had three hits, including a triple, and scored three runs.

The Tigers (6-2) scored four runs each in the first, second and fourth innings. Four of Gardiner’s dozen hits went for extra bases. Kaeti Philbrook’s two-run double in the first gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead. Maggie Bell added a double in the four-run second inning. Farnham led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple to left field, and two batters later, Jaz Clary hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to push Gardiner’s lead to 11-0.

Winslow’s first year coach Kasey Larsen said it was another game on a steep learning curve for the young Black Raiders (2-5), who returned just one starter from 2018.

“Our inexperience, it shows,” Larsen said. “They show up and they work hard every day. They are getting better and learning.”

Throughout the game, the Black Raiders were overmatched by Bisson. Gardiner’s senior pitcher allowed one hit, a two out double by Harley Pomerleau in the top of the first inning. Bisson walked one and struck out 10.

“She does a fantastic job,” Larsen said of Bisson. “Whenever we see a really good pitcher, we get nervous because we don’t have the confidence yet to get up there and attack the ball.”

Behind Bisson, Gardiner’s defense was almost flawless, making just one error.

“It makes (defense) a lot easier, because she’s amazing. Our defense is pretty solid,” Farnham said of playing behind Bisson.

Bisson had three singles, scored three runs, and drove in three. Philbrook and Clary each drove in three runs.

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