The University of Maine softball team opened America East play in impressive fashion over the weekend.

The defending conference champion Black Bears swept a three-game series from the University of Hartford, collecting 7-6 and 6-2 wins on Saturday and an 8-4 triumph on Sunday.

The Bears were the home team for all three games as the series was moved from Orono to Hartford because of field conditions.

UMaine is now 8-17 overall and 3-0 in America East while Hartford fell to 3-29 and 0-5, respectively. Hartford has lost 12 straight.

In Saturday’s first game, the Bears held on despite Hartford getting a run in the top of the seventh to close to within one.

The Hawks scored first in the top of the first as Kylie Dazalla scored on an error, but UMaine answered, with Sarah Coyne also scoring on an error.

Bianca Ross gave Hartford the lead back in the fourth with a two-run home run but the Bears scored twice in the fourth and twice more in the fifth to take the lead for good.

Rachel Harvey sparked the fifth-inning uprising with an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch. Rachel Carlson contributed a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Laurine German, Carson and Alyssa Derrick each had two singles in game one while Annie Kennedy pitched the final two innings to get the victory.

In game two, UMaine pulled away early as German and Derrick each homered in a four-run first, with Derrick blasting a three-run shot.

UMaine tacked on two more runs in the third, one on a Derrick RBI single.

Molly Flowers pitched a complete game for UMaine, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking one.

Elizabeth Newkirk singled and hit a solo homer for the Hawks.

On Sunday, the Black Bears unleashed a 14-hit attack with Carlson, Harvey and Coyne collecting three hits apiece.

Harvey had a double and knocked in three runs and Carlson had two RBIs. Meghan Royle belted a solo homer.

Annie Kennedy and Flowers teamed up on a seven-hitter with seven strikeouts.

Lexi Wilkerson had two hits and two RBIs for Hartford and Newkirk drove in a pair of runs.