ELMIRA, N.Y. — Nicole Blais and Kristin Sahlem each notched a goal and an assist to lead Manhattanville to a 4-1 victory over Bowdoin in the NCAA Division III women’s hockey semifinals.

Manhattanville (27-3) advanced to the national championship game for the second straight year.

Bowdoin concluded its season at 22-2-3.

The Polar Bears fell behind 3-0 before Alyson Lizotte scored her second goal of the season at 10:41 of the third period.

Cherie Stewart restored Manhattanville’s three-goal advantage at 15:11.

Sahlem, Blais and Amanda Zimacki scored the early goals against Emily McKissock, who absorbed her first loss of the season in goal for the Polar Bears.

Softball USM swept

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The University of Southern Maine softball team started its season on a sour note with a 6-3 loss to the North Central Cardinals and a 5-4 loss to Wisconsin-Stevens Point in a Friday doubleheader.

North Central’s Jenna Congdon delivered the big blow against the Huskies when she singled in the third to give the Cardinals the lead. Both teams exchanged runs in the first, but the Cardinals responded when Laura Ingram whacked a run-scoring double.

USM tried to claw back in the fourth when it added a run to make the score 4-2, but the Huskies were unable to muster a final attack against Cardinal pitcher Shannon Pederson. The Cardinals added two insurance runs in the sixth to take the lead for good. The Huskies offense was led by Dirigo product Darci Holland (two singles) and junior outfielder Ang Cote (two doubles).

In the second game, Westbrook native Jodie Eldridge surrendered key RBI singles to Megan Strmsek, sophomore outfielder Casey Schipferling, and freshman cathcher Lena Hubbard. Katie Mainville fired three shutout innings in relief and gave up only one hit.

After trailing 4-0, USM rallied in the bottom of the first to tie the score. Holland started the scoring for the Huskies with a RBI single and was followed by run scoring hits by Natasha Jackson, Sarah McLean and catcher Kristen Tong.

In the top of the fourth, Stevens Point scored the eventual game-winning run when Carrie Hermsen scored on an interference call. The Huskies were kept in check by a solid relief effort by Karen Guckenberger, who relieved Stevens Point starter Jeanelle Roth and held the Huskies to four hits and no runs in seven innings of relief.

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