GARDINER — The bats are heating up for the Gardiner softball team.

Gardiner has racked up 41 runs, averaging more than 13 runs per game, during a three-game win streak after starting the season 2-3.

And the bats were out in force again on Tuesday afternoon, as the Tigers beat rival Cony 12-0 in five innings.

“This is the best we’ve hit since the year we won (the Class B title in 2022),” Gardiner head coach Ryan Gero said. “I just told them (after the game), I believe, they believe that great things can happen. Right now, they believe, and we just need to keep that momentum flying. It’s a long road and we’ve got some big games coming up.”

Pitcher Lainey Cooley went 2-for-2 at the plate for Gardiner (5-3), collecting a triple and two RBIs. Cooley also earned the win in the circle, allowing just one hit while striking out four.


“Our energy is really good right now,” said Cooley, a senior. “We have the skill; we’re just picking it up (at the plate) and executing.”

Taryn Nichols added a double and two RBIs for Gardiner.

Junior pitcher Suri Ramkissoon had the lone hit for the Rams (3-5), during the top of the first inning.

An eight-run second inning sealed the victory early for Gardiner. Each Tiger starter either had a hit or scored a run, a trend that has picked up during Gardiner’s win streak.

“I think our chemistry (stands out),” Cooley said. “We’re a young team. We lost nine of our girls (to graduation) last year. Our team is pretty new, but we’re all comfortable with each other. Our chemistry is growing and it’s showing in the field.”

The Tigers played a clean, errorless game as well. Third baseman Taylor Takatsu was particularly busy, with four groundouts.


“It’s really reassuring that my team has my back (defensively),” Cooley said. “It’s nice to have.”

Gardiner’s success at the plate comes at a needed time. The Tigers, who are currently fourth in the Class B South standings, are scheduled to play No. 2 Medomak Valley on Wednesday in Waldoboro. The Tigers have shown an ability to beat top teams this season, picking up a 7-6 win over defending Class B North champion Nokomis on April 19, but also fell 4-1 to the Panthers in their first matchup on April 26.

“They’ve really been coming together (in the last two weeks), and right now, they are together,” Gero said. “The bats are hot, the fielding’s great, the pitching’s great. We’re striding right now. And it’s a good time of the year to go into the second half (strong). I’ve been happy with everything, it’s been great.”

Cony, which went 3-3 to start the season before dropping its last two games, had its struggles in the field, making three errors against Gardiner.

“(Gardiner) is a tough squad, but you can’t beat yourself (too), and we didn’t come to play,” Cony head coach Dennis Gagne said. “I just thought we had no compete level in us. We’re a much better team than what we showed today.

“We’ve played solid defense (previously) and we’ve played as a team, hitting the ball well, too,” Gagne added. “But you’ve got to come to play. In a game like today, we handed them eight runs (in the second). We just need to find that consistency.”

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