COLLEGES

Smith again steps down as UMaine softball coach

University of Maine softball Coach Deb Smith announced her immediate resignation on Friday.

Smith, a 1994 University of Maine graduate, led the Black Bears for three seasons in her second tenure as head coach. She previously coached the team from 1999 to 2004, earning a conference championship and America East Coach of the Year honors in 2004.

Athletic Director Steve Abbott will launch a national search for a new coach.

BASKETBALL: The University of Maine men’s and women’s basketball teams announced their schedules.

The men’s team will play one exhibition game in Orono against Fisher College on Oct. 30 before opening the regular season on Nov. 11 at Rhode Island. The home opener is Nov. 14 against UM-Machias. The road schedule includes a game against defending national champion Connecticut on Nov. 17, and at Notre Dame on Dec. 8.

The women will host New Brunswick in an exhibition on Oct. 30, then begin the season with road games at Central Connecticut State on Nov. 11 and Rhode Island on Nov. 13. The home opener is Nov. 19 against Bryant.

HOCKEY

NHL: A granite replica of the Stanley Cup weighing a reported 7,000 pounds greeted Boston Bruins prospects as they reported for rookie camp at the team’s practice arena in Wilmington, Mass.

That should be their first clue that making the team could be harder this year.

“I think everybody’s excited to come to camp, to start up this year,” assistant general manager Jim Benning said after the first skate of the team’s rookie camp.

Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger skated for the first time since offseason back surgery.

Pronger missed the majority of the postseason and had surgery to remove a herniated disc from his spinal cord. He was limited to 50 regular-season games, scoring just four goals.

The Chicago Blackhawks acquired forward David Toews from the New York Islanders for future considerations.

GOLF

LPGA: Stacy Lewis and Yani Tseng shot 5-under 66s and were tied for the first-round lead at the Northwest Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Ark.

Tseng, the world’s No. 1 player and the defending champion, eagled the par-5 18th hole with a downhill 6-foot putt. Lewis, playing one group behind, birdied the 18th with a 5-foot putt.

EUROPEAN PGA: Stephen Dodd of Wales was 6 under through first 13 holes and 8 under for the tournament when darkness forced 78 players to halt their rounds at the KLM Open in Hilversum, Netherlands.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Phoenix Suns president and chief executive Rick Welts is leaving the team to pursue other interests. Welts, the first openly gay senior executive in pro sports, announced he is leaving the team next week for personal reasons.

WNBA: Kia Vaughn had 15 points and nine rebounds, and the host New York Liberty beat the Indiana Fever 83-75.