Young Harris sweeps doubleheader from Pioneers

Young Harris sweeps doubleheader from Pioneers

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Young Harris College swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from Tusculum University on Sunday afternoon, winning 2-1 in game one and 16-2 in five innings in game two at Red Edmonds Field.

The Pioneers (17-13) will return to action on Tuesday with a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader at Carson-Newman, beginning at 2 p.m.

Game 1: Young Harris 2, Tusculum 1
Nikkie Kovalsky (17-8) withstood a rally in the seventh inning by the Pioneers to finish off her 16th complete game in 22 starts. Kovalsky threw 34 of her 100 pitches in the final inning, which ended with a strikeout of the potential winning run.

Young Harris scored both runs in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Jill Torres and a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Tusculum's run came in the bottom of the seventh as pinch-hitter Chloe Freischmidt capped an 11-pitch at-bat by tripling down the right field line, then scoring on a throwing error on the relay.

Ivee Richesin (6-3) matched zeros with Kovalsky through the fifth inning before walking Haylie Shope to lead off the sixth. Grace Botti laid down a sacrifice to move Shope to second, and Torres followed with a single to plate Shope with the first run. With two outs, Kristan Lizardi reached on a infield single to put runners on the corners, and a pickoff attempt at first went wide of the base as pinch-runner Karah Straub scored for a 2-0 Mountain Lion lead.

Tusculum came back with a scoring chance in the bottom of the sixth as Anna Alloway led off with a single and Sammie West singled with two outs. However, Kovalsky retired the side on a fly ball to keep Young Harris ahead 2-0.

Emily Hester led the Pioneers at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double, while Taylor Battle was 1-for-3 with a walk. For the Mountain Lions, Shope was 1-for-3 with a walk and Lizardi was 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base.

Kovalsky struck out two and walked two while allowing seven hits and an earned run for Young Harris, while Richesin gave up six hits and two runs (one earned) with five strikeouts and three walks in her third complete game of the season.

Game 2: Young Harris 16, Tusculum 2 (5 innings)
The Mountain Lions (23-13) piled up 21 hits and had eight players with multi-hit games in the five-inning victory over the Pioneers. The offensive outburst was more than enough for Louisa Disi (5-5), who struck out nine and allowed four hits in the victory.

Tusculum's two runs came in the bottom of the second inning as Ashley Scozzari and Brittney Franse led off with singles, eventually scoring on RBI singles by Hester and Alloway.

After scoring a run in the first off Tusculum starter Allison Pate, Young Harris scored five in the second which included a two-run single by Emily Harris and a solo home run by Shope. Two more runs scored in the third on an RBI triple by Michalyn Bingham and an RBI single by Harris, and the Mountain Lions exploded for eight runs in the fifth which included two-run singles by Botti and pinch-hitter Lauren Crowe.

Pate (5-5) took the loss after giving up eight hits and six runs in two innings for the Pioneers, with two walks and a strikeout. Scozzari struck out three batters over three innings of relief.

Harris, Torres and Bingham all went 3-for-3 for the Mountain Lions in game two, with Harris and Botti each driving in three runs. Morgan Curley and Lizardi each were 2-for-3 with three runs scored.