Any college tennis team is in good shape when someone the caliber of Allison Bleakney is lurking as its No. 5 singles player and half its No. 3 doubles tandem.

While other players stand higher on the ladder, you can bet that nobody affiliated with the Stonehill College women’s squad overlooks Bleakney. She enters the home stretch of her junior campaign with an 8-3 overall record and 5-1 conference mark in both disciplines.

Bleakney won doubles and team championships at Lewiston High School, and her fortunes haven’t changed since advancing to the NCAA Division II program in Easton, Mass.

In a March 27 home match against Franklin Pierce, Bleakney served up nothing but bagels.

She played 20 games and won them all, pounding out a 6-0, 6-0 singles sweep of Monica Lavertu and teaming with Jessica Schaaf for an 8-0 doubles decision over Lavertu and Mariana Zahora.

Stonehill moved to 8-4 overall and 5-2 in the Northeast-10 Saturday with a 7-2 verdict over Pace. Bleakney bagged another pair of straight-set victories, prevailing 6-0, 7-5 in singles and 8-5 in doubles.

With no seniors on the roster, Bleakney has emerged as a leader for the Skyhawks, who have won 19 of their last 21 matches in Northeast-10 competition.

After a promising 2-0 debut in doubles as a freshman, Bleakney broke through last season with a sterling singles record of 13-3 and a doubles docket of 10-5.

Big bat for Bowdoin

Bowdoin College third baseman Nick Lawler of Auburn (Edward Little) has been named baseball’s Player of the Week in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Lawler’s double threat with the bat and glove was pivotal for the Polar Bears, who took two-of-three in a weekend series with Trinity. The senior batted .462 on the weekend, clubbing four doubles and rolling up 10 total bases. In addition to scoring four runs, Lawler also snuffed out a runner at the plate.

While hitting .333 to date this spring, Lawler is first or second in numerous offensive categories for Bowdoin: runs (12); hits (16); RBIs (11), slugging percentage (.562); and home runs (1).

Ever the pest at the plate, Lawler is Bowdoin’s all-time leader with 44 doubles and 37 times hit by pitch. His four-year average is a toasty .316.

The Polar Bears dropped a 4-1 decision to Southern Maine on Tuesday, falling to 7-7 on the season as they chase an NCAA Division III playoff berth for the second straight year.

Lawler leads a large contingent from the Lewiston-Auburn area in the Bowdoin clubhouse. Patrick Duchette, a junior first baseman from Wales (Oak Hill), hits .303. Senior utility infielder Tyler Turgeon of Auburn (St. Dom’s) is at .238.

On the mound, first-year right hander Luke Potter of Lewiston has quickly emerged as an ace.

Potter is 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA in a team-high 20 2/3 innings. His 19 strikeouts also lead the club.

Turgeon turns in a 4.00 ERA in relief, while brother Ryan Turgeon, a junior, is 2-0, 3.18 as a starter.

Spring storm

Katie Morin continues to reap early-season honors for the University of New England softball team.

This award came in from closer to home. UNE named Morin its athlete of the month for March.

A junior infielder for the Nor’easters, Morin batted .553 for the month, hitting safely in 21 of her 38 at-bats. In one incredible stretch, Morin went 13-for-17. She scored 13 runs in 12 games and failed to produce multiple hits in only four contests. Showing no holes in her defensive game, either, Morin fielded 36 opportunities and was charged with only two errors.Morin is the second local player to receive UNE’s top honor in this academic year. Freshman field hockey player Taryn Flagg of Livermore Falls took the October nod.

Bear them in mind

The University of Maine women’s track and field team celebrated its only outdoor home meet of the season Saturday with a narrow 102-97 triumph over the University of New Hampshire.

Three local athletes contributed to the winning margin. Tess Perry of Farmington (Mt. Blue) was one of eight event winners for the Black Bears, capturing the pole vault with a distance of 11.05 meters.

Allyson Thomas of Auburn (Edward Little) placed second in the pole vault at a height of 9-6, while Stephanie Jette of Fryeburg (Lovell) was the 800-meter runner-up in a time of 2:20.04.


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