After scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-4 lead, the Bowdoin softball team defeated Tufts on Friday for the first time since 2004. During the back-and-forth nail biter, neither team ever led by more than one run.

The team then lost both Saturday games against Tufts, but rallied to sweep the University of Maine-Farmington on Thursday.

Julia Jacobs '10 started on the mound on Friday, pitching six innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits. She struck out five and walked only one in the win to improve to 6-2 on the season. Sophomore reliever Michelle Wells recorded her third save, stranding the tying Tufts run on second base.

Caroline Dewar '12 continued her hot play at the plate. She led the Polar Bear bats going 2-4 and scoring one run. Designated hitter Kara Nilan '11 also went 2-4 in the win. Two of Bowdoin's five runs were driven in by first year Gen Barlow. Barlow hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to give the Polar Bears a 3-2 lead and drove in the tying run on a single in the last frame.

Bowdoin looked poised to steal the series from the Jumbos, who finished second in the 2009 NCAA tournament.

"We felt great after winning on Friday but I think our intensity and focus decreased on Saturday," said Tricia Thibodeau '13. "We're a strong team this year but we still have to play every game with intensity."

In an effort to tie the series at one game apiece, Tufts scored two runs in the second inning of the first game on Saturday and never looked back.

Tufts first year Rebecca DiBiase shut the Bowdoin bats down going all six innings and allowed just one run on five hits. Dewar drove in the only Bowdoin run on a single in the 5-1 loss. All but two players in the Tufts lineup had hits.

The third and final game decided the series and who would take the advantage in the NESCAC East. The Polar Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. The lead, however, did not last long. In the second inning, Tufts tied the game on a two-run home run that cleared the centerfield wall. Tufts scored once more in the bottom of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly to take a 3-2 lead and the eventual win of the same score.

"Obviously, being 1-2 in the division is not ideal, but there are a lot of games to be played," Coach Ryan Sullivan said. "[We] learned that we can compete with a program that has been the best in the conference the last few years."

On Thursday, the team swept its double-header against UMaine-Farmington. In the first game, Nilan allowed only one hit in six innings. The Polar Bears won 1-0, scoring in the second inning when a double by Hillary Smyth '12 scored Lauren Coven '10 from second base.

In the second game, both offenses found their stride, but a Barlow home run and an RBI double by Shavonne Lord '10 in the seventh inning broke a 4-4 tie and led to a 6-4 Polar Bear victory.

The team, now 16-7 (1-2), will host Brandeis for two games on Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be back-to-back doubleheaders as they travel to the University of New England and host Southern Maine.

- Jim Reidy contributed to this report.