GARDINER – By the time Gardiner High got going, so had Amelia Pennington.

Facing Lincoln Academy and Pennington on Thursday, the Tigers took a little too long to play their style and made six errors in the first four innings.

It might not have mattered. Pennington retired 18 of the last 19 batters she faced en route to a 6-3 victory for Lincoln.

“In order for us to be successful, we have to not walk people and we have to make the basic plays,” Gardiner Coach Conrad Lewis said. “Whoever’s pitching, they have to make the plays behind our pitcher.”

Gardiner (5-9) was coming off a 4-1 upset of Maranacook on Wednesday, and a victory over Lincoln (9-4) would have had the Tigers thinking about the playoffs. But Gardiner gave Lincoln five extra outs in the first two innings, and the Eagles scored in the second without getting a hit, a walk or a ball out of the infield.

Still, Gardiner led 3-2. The Tigers got three unearned runs in the bottom of the first. With two outs, pitcher Brittany Rollins plunked a single just inside the foul line and out of the reach of second baseman Morgan Scavetta for a two-run single and a 3-1 lead.

Pennington gave up a leadoff single to Camden Coan in the second inning. That was Gardiner’s last hit. Pennington took care of most of the outs, ending with 10 strikeouts and six assists on grounders back to her.

Making her performance more impressive was Pennington has pitched 34 innings this week. That’s a lot, but Pennington has a coach who knows pitching — Katie Mainville-Nicholls, a former Erskine Academy and University of Southern Maine standout.

“Usually as the game goes on, she gets stronger,” Nicholls said.

Nicholls took over last year and said she’s become quite the intense coach.

“I definitely take games home with me,” she said. “There’s been a lot of sleepless nights. (But) I love softball. I can’t imagine not being around it. It’s a lot of fun.”

With Pennington on a roll, Lincoln tied it in the third. Sarah Alley, who was 3 for 4, reached on an error and went to third on a double by Scavetta. Tara Gauntt followed with a fly to left fielder Molly Snell, and Alley was safe ahead of Snell’s strong throw.

“I thought the play at home was a morale-killer,” Lewis said. “I thought she was out. It was a great catch, great throw, the tag was there.”

Lincoln picked up three more unearned runs in the fourth inning.