WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Kara Nilan sparked Bowdoin to an 8-1 victory over Williams in the first round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference softball tournament Friday.

Nilan pitched a six-hitter with no walks and six strikeouts. She also went 3 for 4 and scored a run for the Polar Bears (31-10).

Bowdoin took the lead with a three-run homer by Clare Ronan in the first inning. Ronan finished with two hits, three RBI and two runs.

Gen Barlow also homered for Bowdoin and Amy Hackett drove in three runs against the Ephs (16-20-1).

 

USM ELIMINATED: Second-seeded Keene State (25-13-1) scored 10 runs in the last three innings for a 12-3 victory, eliminating fifth-ranked Southern Maine (13-30) from the Little East Conference tournament at Keene, N.H..

The Huskies took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a three-run homer by Jessica Hayden, but the Owls answered in the top of the fifth with RBI singles from Stephanie Lavado and Courtney Savoie.

USM started the day with a 5-2 loss to third-ranked Western Connecticut State (22-16).

Lauren DiCecco homered for Southern Maine in the first inning, but Amy Hartman hit a two-run double to help the Colonials score three in the third.

BASEBALL

WILLIAMS 15, BOWDOIN 5: The Ephs (23-10-1) scored eight runs in the first two innings and cruised to a win over the Polar Bears (23-14) in the opening game of the NESCAC tournament at Waltham, Mass.

Kevin Zikaris finished with three hits and two RBI to pace Bowdoin, and Joe Comizio added two hits and two RBI.

The Polar Bears play Wesleyan in an elimination game at 10:30 a.m. today.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

XAVIER: Jordan Crawford said he will enter the NBA draft and has hired an agent. He had until today to decide whether to return for his junior season or make himself a candidate for the June 24 draft.

Crawford averaged 29 points in three NCAA tournament games, including 32 in a 101-96 double-overtime loss to Kansas State in the regional semifinals.

 

UCONN: Coach Jim Calhoun, coming off a year marred by health problems, signed a five-year, $13 million contract, the school announced.

Calhoun, who turns 68 Monday, will be paid $2 million retroactive to last season and $2.3 million next season.

He was making $1.6 million under a contract set to expire on June 30.