Mountain Lions advance to Southeast Super Regional with 5-0 shutout of No. 5 North Georgia

Mountain Lions advance to Southeast Super Regional with 5-0 shutout of No. 5 North Georgia

DAHLONEGA, Ga.  |  The Young Harris College softball team eliminated No. 5 University of North Georgia in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional No. 1 championship Saturday (May 11) afternoon at Haines and Carolyn Hill Stadium. 

The Nighthawks forced game two with a 2-1 decision in the opener. Louisa Disi and Nikkie Kovalsky combined for a shutout in the 5-0 win in game two of the championship. Young Harris improved to 40-18, while North Georgia ended its season at 45-13. This season marks the second time Young Harris has reached 40 wins with the first being during the 2017 campaign (43). 

The Mountain Lions will travel to Harrogate, Tennessee, for the Southeast Super Regional beginning Thursday (May 16) against Lincoln Memorial University with times to be announced. It will be the second consecutive trip to the super regional for Young Harris.

Jill Torres gave the Mountain Lions an early 2-0 lead with a two-run single to right field in the first inning of game two. After giving up a double with one out in the first inning, Disi set down the next seven Nighthawks to take the 2-0 lead into the fourth inning.

Kovalsky came in the game Young Harris with the bases loaded and two outs and got Olivia Sinquefield to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning. The Nighthawks led off the fifth inning with a triple to right field then Kovalsky retired the next three batters to get out of another threatening inning.

Michalyn Bingham doubled to right center in the top of the sixth and Katelynn Hodges singled her home to increase the Mountain Lion lead to 3-0.

Back-to-back singles led off the sixth inning for North Georgia but Kovalsky once again retired the next three batters. Bingham doubled home a pair to give Young Harris a 5-0 lead in the seventh inning. 

Kovalsky struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Mountain Lions to the super regionals.

Kovalsky (25-10) picked up the win for Young Harris as she allowed four hits with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Bingham went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Torres collected a hit and two RBI. Hodges tallied a hit and drove in a run. Morgan Curley had a hit and a run scored, while Emily Harris had a hit and scored two runs. 

Kylee Smith (30-4) earned the loss for the Nighthawks as she gave up two runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in two innings pitched. The Mountain Lions account for three of Smith's four losses on the season.

Kaylyn Anthony hit a solo homer to left field for North Georgia for the first run of the game in the first inning of the opener. Grace Botti tied the game at one for Young Harris in the bottom half of the first with a single down the left field line that scored Curley. 

Katelyn Perry scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning after Shelby Hammontree reached on a fielder's choice.

Kovalsky earned the loss for the the Mountain Lions as she gave up two runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings pitched.

Botti tallied a hit and a RBI, while Curley had two hits and a run scored. Harris and Bingham each had a hit.