HARROGATE, TENN – Nikkie Kovalski tossed a four-hit shutout as Young Harris defeated Lincoln Memorial 1-0 in the first game of the NCAA Southeast Super Regional at Neely Field. With the win, the Mountain Lions (41-18) are one win away from the NCAA national championships in Denver, Colo. The two teams will play again on Friday at 2:00 pm. Lincoln Memorial (38-14) will need to beat YHC twice in order to advance.
Kovalsky (W, 27-11) continued her tremendous postseason run, improving to 4-1 in the NCAA Tournament with her third shutout. On Thursday she walked two and struck out five, going the distance in 116 pitches.
The Mountain Lions collected hits in three of the first four innings, but were not able to crack the scoreboard until the fifth. Kristan Lizardi reached first on a throwing error from LMU starting pitcher Bailey Griffith (L, 16-8) and was bunted over to second by Katelynn Hodges. With two outs, Morgan Curley drove a double to left center, scoring Lizardi for what would prove to be the game's only run.
Kovalsky took it from there, never allowing a base runner past first base the rest of the way and setting down the side in order in the seventh.
Curley finished the day 1-for-4 with the RBI while Grace Botti was 2-for-3. Emma Webb led LMU with a 2-for-3 day.