The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Kara Nilan '11 stepped up to the plate against NESCAC opponent Middlebury College. Co-captain Lauren Coven '10 was on second base in the final game of the Bowdoin softball team's spring trip to Clermont, Florida, when Nilan hit a walk-off single to end the contest.

The win capped a successful 11-5 trip for the Polar Bears, and helped bring the momentum back to Maine with two more wins on Sunday against Husson College 9-2 and 8-0.

Head Coach Ryan Sullivan, in his sixth season as head coach of the softball team, was pleased with both the competition and the team's success in Florida.

"Anytime you win some games and play pretty well it instills confidence," Sullivan said. "I think we performed very consistently and should feel pretty good about the quality of our team."

Sophomore Caroline Dewar leads the team with a .377 batting average, followed closely by fellow sophomore Hillary Smyth at .373. Smyth is tied for the lead on the team in triples with four, while Coven and first year Toni DiCampo have each hit one home run.

On the mound, the Polar Bears have had a balance of success from both veteran and rookie pitchers. First year Tricia Thibodeau leads the team with a staggeringly low 0.26 ERA and a record of 4-1. She has only allowed one earned run and 16 hits in 27 innings pitched, and has thrown two complete game shutouts.

Co-captain Julia Jacobs '10 has continued her stellar play with a 0.92 ERA and 5-2 record.

The Polar Bears are looking towards their first year players to make a big contribution during the 2010 season.

"Our freshman have been awesome so far on the mound, at the plate, and in the field," said Jacobs. "We are all really excited to have five new great athletes that we can depend on."

Gen Barlow '13 has had a great start to the season with a .324 batting average in 14 starts. The first years will continue to play an important role at most positions for the remainder of the season.

This weekend the Polar Bears will travel to Medford, Massachusetts to take on the national runner-up in last year's NCAA tournament, the Tufts Jumbos (7-5). The team will play one game on Friday and two on Saturday against the Jumbos.

"We can see from our trip down south and from our games against Husson that we can be competitive with just about anyone we will face this season," said Barlow.

This will be the first series of the all-important NESCAC East play for the Polar Bears.

"The NESCAC East is very competitive," said Sullivan. "We think if we play up to our capabilities, we can certainly be one of the top two in the East and make it into the NESCAC Tournament."