After a strong week of non-conference play, the Bowdoin softball team reached the 20-win mark for the fourth consecutive season. After four doubleheaders in the past seven days, the Polar Bears went 6-2 to improve their overall record to 20-9.

"The week of non-conference play is not too much different than the NESCAC series' that we play," said first year Toni DaCampo. "We take every game seriously, but the non-conference games helped us figure out what we need to work on."

On Wednesday, the Polar Bears hosted the University of Southern Maine (USM) for the final two games of the busy stretch. The bottom of the Polar Bear lineup pulled through in a 9-5 win in the first game of the afternoon.

Amy Hackett '12, Lauren Coven '10, Molly Nestor '11 and Jaime Paul '10, went a combined 10 for 13 from the plate with 5 runs scored and 6 RBIs.

Behind first year starting pitcher Tricia Thibodeau, Bowdoin came back from a two-run deficit to beat USM 6-4 and sweep the doubleheader. Slugger Kara Nilan '11 and shortstop Shavonne Lord '10 each had three hits in the victory. Michelle Wells '12 picked up the save when the game was called due to darkness after six innings.

The Polar Bears traveled to the University of New England on Tuesday for another two-game set. The first game went back and forth, when after an early two-run Bowdoin lead, UNE quickly scored three runs and held off the visitors for a 5-4 victory. Once again Hackett and Lord led the Polar Bears, each collecting two hits.

Nilan was the star for Bowdoin in the second game against UNE. After the Polar Bears plated one run in the top of the first, Nilan went to work from the mound, going all seven innings and allowing just three hits.

She extended her scoreless inning streak to 21.0 and is just 3.2 innings shy of tying the record. Bowdoin went on to a 3-0 win.

The Polar Bears were tested on Saturday by the No. 21-ranked Brandeis Judges in a split of a doubleheader. Bowdoin scored the first three runs in the first game, but Brandeis quickly came back for a 6-3 win. Clare Ronan '10 scored one run, had one RBI and was the only Polar Bear with two hits.

In the second game of the day, Bowdoin squeaked out a 2-0 win in a pitcher's duel. Nilan again pitched a shutout, allowing just five hits and one walk as she shut down the Brandeis bats. Head Coach Ryan Sullivan was pleased with the split.

"It was really satisfying to play well against a very good team, and to get a win was nice," he said. "They were a good team, and therefore it was a very good win."

This Friday the Polar Bears will continue NESCAC East competition as they travel to Colby (6-13, 0-3) to play the Mules. Colby will then make the trip south to Brunswick on Saturday for a doubleheader to complete the three-game series. Bowdoin looks to go above .500 in the division in an effort to qualify for the NESCAC tournament.

"[Colby is] certainly dangerous and we will need to put together three complete games in order to get through the series in good shape," said Sullivan.