WELLESLEY, Mass. – A career day for sophomore second baseman Amy Hackett allowed Bowdoin to avoid elimination Friday as the Polar Bears defeated Husson 14-2 in the NCAA Division III softball tournament.

Hackett crushed two long home runs and tied a school record with seven RBI as the offense came alive for Bowdoin (34-13) a day after managing just four hits in a tournament-opening loss.

“It was definitely nice to come back with a bang and get our confidence back,” said Hackett, who had three home runs for the season entering Friday’s game. “We came out with all guns firing. We had a real good game.”

Hackett, who returned to campus after Thursday’s game to take a final exam, returned to the team hotel around midnight but was one of the first players at the team breakfast Friday.

She had three hits, all for extra bases, to lead the Polar Bears to an elimination game at noon today against Coast Guard Academy, with the winner playing again at 4 p.m. for a spot in the losers’ bracket semifinals.

“(Hackett’s) performance was remarkable,” said Bowdoin Coach Ryan Sullivan. “She’s a great athlete and a great kid. She comes out of basketball to join us, has one practice and is on the plane with us to Florida. She has really picked it up the last two weeks.”

Bowdoin wasted little time jumping on Husson starter Nicole Sargent, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. After Shavonne Lord doubled to deep left-center field to put runners at second and third, Clare Ronan followed with a sharp single to center to score both runners.

After the Eagles (28-15) scratched a run off Julia Jacobs in the bottom of the first, the Polar Bears rallied for four runs in the third, highlighted by a two-run shot by Hackett to deep center, a run-scoring single from Molly Nestor and an RBI double by Lauren Coven.

That flurry chased Sargent and allowed Bowdoin to feast on the bullpen.

While the offense was on fire, Jacobs was working in and out of trouble in the early innings. She loaded the bases in the second, third and fourth innings, but allowed just one run.

The damage could’ve been worse, but right fielder Gen Barlow threw out a runner at the plate trying to score on a fly ball, ending a bases-loaded, one-out rally in the third.

“Anytime you put runs up early, it helps the pitching and the defense,” said Sullivan. “It allowed Jacobs to be more aggressive because she had runs to play with.”

After weathering those bases-loaded jams, Bowdoin blew open the game in the sixth and seventh innings.

Lord led a three-run rally in the sixth with a double to left that scored two runs, and Hackett crushed a grand slam in the seventh as part of a five-run outburst.

Coven led the Polar Bears with four hits, while Kara Nilan, Caroline Dewar, Lord, Ronan and Barlow each had two of Bowdoin’s 18 hits.

The 14 runs matched a season high for Bowdoin, which posted a 14-0 win over Mount St. Vincent in the season opener on March 16.

Jacobs (12-6) scattered 12 hits in a complete-game effort, striking out three.

“We had a big overall effort as a team,” said Hackett. “We are not ready to have our season end yet. We wanted to fight to keep on playing.”

Sullivan, who was able to rest ace pitcher Nilan, will have both her and Jacobs available for what Bowdoin hopes will be two games this afternoon.


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