DAHLONEGA, GA – In a game that endured four lead changes and two lightning delays, Young Harris' Morgan Curley brought things to a close with a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh as the Mountain Lions defeated Francis Marion 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the PBC softball tournament on Friday. With the win, #2 seed Young Harris (37-16) advances to the semifinal round on Saturday morning at 11am where they will face seventh-seeded Georgia Southwestern.
Young Harris was one out away from winning the game in the top of the seventh. Following a 1:20 lightning delay, the second of the game, the induced a ground ball for the second out with a runner on second base. Following a walk, FMU's Jaimie Harney singled to right center to score Madison Hatfield. That was followed by a Chelsea Welty single to right that scored Danielle Karacson and gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead.
Katelynn Hodges started the bottom of the seventh by reaching base on one of the three FMU errors in the game. She was followed by Curley, who took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center to end the game. It was Curley's second home run of the season.
FMU opened the scoring in the top of the first as Taylor Johnson led off the game with a base hit and later scored on a Jessica Harney RBI single down the right field line.
The Patriots held that 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth when YHC answered with a pair of runs. Hodges scored the first of those runs on the second Patriot error of the inning and Curley scored the second on a sac fly from Grace Botti.
Francis Marion out hit Young Harris 10-4 in the game, seven of those hits coming against YHC starter Nikkie Kovalsky, who left the game in the fourth inning. Louisa Disi (W, 13-5) entered in relief, going the rest of the way and finishing with four innings of work with three hits and two earned runs allowed with five strikeouts.
Katelyn Ellard (L, 18-10) took the loss for the Patriots after going the distance with only one earned run allowed. She struck out two and walked one.