The University of Maine’s softball season came to an abrupt end with a pair of losses in the American East Tournament in Vestal, New York, on Wednesday.
UMaine lost its first game of the day to UMass Lowell 7-1.
In the second game, Hartford rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to beat UMaine 5-4 and earned the right to play at least one more game in its final season in the league, as it is transitioning to Division III.
The Black Bears, who finished last in the conference, wound up an 8-37 campaign.
Hartford is now 17-28. The Hawks lost their opener to host Binghamton 5-3.
In the nightcap, UMaine took a 4-2 lead thanks to America East All-Rookie team selection Gabby Papushka’s two-run homer in the sixth inning, her team-leading sixth homer of the season.
Chandler Mitchell singled home a run in the bottom of the sixth to pull the Hawks within one and Mara Sczecienski triggered the seventh-inning with a one-out double to right center off losing pitcher Caitlyn Fallon.
Kelsey Galevich drew a walk and Samantha Nagel singled to left to deliver Sczecienski with the tying run.
Following a fly out, Paige Fedak’s single to center chased home Galevich with the winning run.
Izzy Nieblas’ two-run double staked UMaine to a 2-0 lead in the first inning but Galevich’s RBI single in the fourth and Haley Cassidy’s run-scoring single in the fifth tied it up.
Mitchell had three singles for Hartford and Jordan Nastos and Nagel had two hits apiece.
Papushka and Nieblas each had a pair of hits for UMaine.
In the opener, junior Chelsea Runyon tossed an eight-hitter, striking out 10 and walking just one, as the River Hawks beat the Black Bears, who committed four errors.
Becca Vaillancourt had a double and a single and drove in two runs for 27-18 UMass Lowell and Cayla Tulley knocked in three without the benefit of a hit on a two-run sacrifice fly and a groundout.
Senior shortstop and All-America East second team selection Kelby Drews went three-for-three for Maine with three singles and she was also hit by a pitch.
Katie Jo Moery had a double for the Black Bears.