Kristen Niland’s run-scoring single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the University of Maine softball team a 5-4 America East victory over UMass Lowell at Kessock Field in Orono on Thursday afternoon.

It was the seventh straight win and the 13th in its last 14 games for UMaine (16-18, 10-1 AE).

UMass Lowell, which dealt UMaine its only conference loss, fell to 18-19 and 9-5, respectively.

Meghan Royle triggered the decisive rally by reaching second on a hit off the glove of diving third baseman Casey Harding.

Emily Gilmore came on to pinch-run for Royle and scored when Niland ripped a sharp single down the line that glanced off first baseman Vanessa Cooper.

UMaine and UMass Lowell swapped unearned runs before the Black Bears took a 4-1 lead with three second-inning runs on singles by Niland and Chloe Douglass, Laurine German’s RBI double and run-scoring singles by Erika Leonard and Rachel Harvey.

Harvey’s base hit extended her hitting streak to 13 games (19-for-45, .422).

But UMass Lowell tied it up with three in the fifth on Alisha Welch’s run-scoring single, the ensuing outfield error on her hit that allowed a second run to score, and Courtney Cashman’s sacrifice fly.

Molly Flowers earned the win with four innings of three-hit shutout relief. She struck out two and didn’t walk anybody. Erin Bogdanovich pitched the first four innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits with one strikeout and no walks.

Rachel Carlson and Niland each had two singles for the Black Bears, who committed four errors.

Tori Alcorn hit three singles for the River Hawks. Cashman had two to go with her sacrifice fly, and Sydney Barker stroked a double.

Kaysee Talcik was the hard-luck loser. She allowed just four hits and one run over 6⅓ innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Starter Lauren Ramirez had been touched up for six hits and four runs, three earned, over only 1⅓ innings. She walked two.

UMaine heads to Vestal, New York, to play a three-game set with second-place Binghamton (18-21, 8-2 AE) starting on Friday.