NCAA Softball: Mountain Lions shut out West Chester 4-0, advance to bracket final

NCAA Softball: Mountain Lions shut out West Chester 4-0, advance to bracket final

DENVER, Colo.  |  Nikkie Kovalsky threw a complete game shutout as the Young Harris College softball team defeated West Chester University 4-0 in an elimination game of the NCAA Division II Softball National Championship Saturday (May 25) afternoon at the Regency Athletic Complex on the campus of Metropolitan State University of Denver. 

The Mountain Lion, who are seeded No. 8 in the tournament improved to 44-19, while the Golden Rams fell to 40-22. The 44 wins also sets a program record for Young Harris, eclipsing the previous mark of 43 set in 2017. The Mountain Lions will face Augustana (S.D.) University Saturday (May 25) at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time Saturday (May 25) in the bracket final. YHC will have to beat the No. 3 seed and 15th-ranked Augies twice in order to reach the championship series.

West Chester, the tournament's No. 7 seed, ended their season at 40-22.

Grace Botti drove in the first run of the game for Young Harris with a sacrifice fly to right field in the fifth inning that allowed Emily Harris to score. Haylie Shope added an insurance run in the sixth inning with a single up the middle to score Morgan Curley

Curley made it a 4-0 game for the Mountain Lions with a double to left center in the seventh inning. 

Kovalsky (30-12) threw a complete game shutout for Young Harris giving up only three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. It was her 13th shutout of the season and the 16th overall for the Mountain Lions.

Curley tallied two hits, two RBI, and a run scored, while Jill Torres went 2-for-2 with a walk. Botti tallied a RBI and a run scored, Haylie Shope had a hit and a RBI, and Harris collected a hit and a run scored. Kristan Lizardi tallied two hits. 

Maegen Kavanagh (12-6) earned the loss for West Chester as she gave up two runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched.