NCAA Softball: UNG Splits Friday Games to Advance to Regional Championship Saturday

NCAA Softball: UNG Splits Friday Games to Advance to Regional Championship Saturday

DAHLONEGA - The No. 5 University of North Georgia softball team played 21 innings Friday and are still alive in the NCAA Southeast Regional 1 after splitting Friday's games at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.

GAME 1 - YHC 1, UNG 0 (9 inn.)
Kylee Smith and Nikkie Kovalsky pitched gems for their respective teams, giving up just one hit combined through seven innings of play. Young Harris scored the game winning run in the ninth after a walk off single with the bases loaded.

Kovalsky sat down 27 Nighthawks in a row after hitting Kaylyn Anthony with the first pitch of the game. Smith struck out 11 Mountain Lions across her eight innings of work in the circle.

GAME 2 - UNG 3, LMC 2 (12 inn.)
North Georgia got on the board first on a sacrifice fly in the second by Lexi Duncan plated Shelby Hammontree to put the Nighthawks up, 1-0. UNG doubled their lead with a Katie Collins homer to deep center field in the third.

Lees-McRae, after winning over Coker earlier in the day, tied the game up after an error in the fifth extending the inning for a RBI single and a wild pitch to give the Bobcats two runs.

From there, Smith came in for UNG and kept LMC off the board, but Kara Cunningham threw just as well, firing 161 pitches in the game. Collins walked off the game in the 12th on a RBI single to right center to send the Nighthawks to Saturday's regional championship.

- Hammontree went 3-for-4 in the second game of the day to lead UNG at the plate.

- Lees-McRae defeated Coker, 1-0, in nine innings in the first elimination game of the day.

- The 12 inning game is tied for the third longest game in Southeast Regional (formerly called the South and South Atlantic Regional) Tournament history, tied with UNG's 12-inning marathon against Georgia College in the Super Regional back in 2015. In 1997, Kennesaw State and Columbus State played a 17-inning game in the opening game of the South Regional, which is tied for the third longest game in DII history.

North Georgia will battle Young Harris again Saturday at noon with UNG needing to win twice to advance to the Super Regional.