WATERVILLE – Colby scored nine consecutive goals in the first half and defeated Norwich 17-4 Wednesday in the first round of the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse tournament.

Colby (14-4) advanced to face Hamilton (18-1) in the second round at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at SUNY Cortland.

The Cadets (10-3) led 1-0 six minutes into the game when Kacey Abbriano scored the first of her two goals. Although the Mules tied the game on a goal by Katherine Eddy, their offense didn’t start clicking until midway through the first period.

The Mules had 10 turnovers in the first 14 minutes, but settled down. The key was figuring out Norwich’s zone defense, attacker Lindsey McKenna said.

“We weren’t that patient in the beginning. We weren’t working the ball around. It took us a while to even realize they were playing zone (defense),” said McKenna, the New England Small College Athletic Conference rookie of the year. “Once we realized that, we just got things going.”

McKenna scored with 15:42 left in the first half to give Colby the lead for good, and her goal with 13:20 left made it 3-1. McKenna finished with four goals, giving her a team-high 39 this season.

“We didn’t know a lot about (Norwich) but we knew they had some athletes,” Colby Coach Karen Henning said. “We had to figure out their system and then work our system into the play.

“We weren’t sure what they were going to do. The attack had to assess it and when we tried to force things, it wasn’t working.”

The Mules took control with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half when Anne Geraghty scored three goals in 36 seconds.

The first came on a one-timer off a pass from Kate Gragnolati. Ten seconds later, Geraghty scored right off the draw, and 26 seconds after that, she scored again with an assist from Kate Pistel to give Colby a 7-1 lead.

“I just kind of utilized the fast break on a couple of them, which really helped, and once I got into a rhythm, I just kept going. I didn’t really think about much,” Geraghty said.

Colby led 10-2 at halftime and after the teams traded goals early in the second half, the Mules scored five consecutive goals to push their lead to 16-3.

“I think it was a rough start, but I think we picked it up towards the end,” McKenna said.

SOFTBALL

UNE 5, RIVIER 0: Amber Zablowsky struck out four and did not allow a walk while scattering eight hits to lead the third-seeded Nor’easters (28-17) past the sixth-seeded Raiders (26-15) in the first round of the ECAC Division III New England Championship at Biddeford.

Zablowsky also drove in two runs for the Nor’easters and Marie Mantelli went 2 for 2 with a double, one RBI and one run scored.

BASEBALL

USM 9, UMASS-BOSTON 4: Nick Grady was 3 for 5 with a triple, home run, three RBI and two runs scored to lead the fifth-seeded Huskies (22-17) past the second-ranked Beacons (18-21) in a Little East tournament game at Mansfield, Conn.

Mike Eaton added three hits, two runs and an RBI and David Ricker drove in two runs.

BATES SWEEPS ST. JOSEPH’S: Griff Tewksbury and Chris Burke hit back-to-back homers to break a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning and lead the Bobcats (21-15) to a 6-2 win over the Monks (30-13) in the opener at Lewiston.

Mike Antonellis gave up one earned run on five hits in five innings to earn the win and Michael Spinosa closed out the game with two perfect innings.

The Bobcats completed the sweep with a 9-1 victory behind two RBI each from Chris Burke, Mike Ciummei and Pat Murphy.

Todd Keneborus had a double and home run for the Monks in Game 1, and Mike Pratt had a home run in Game 2.