NCAA Softball: Urquiola, Torres lead hit parade as Mountain Lions upset No. 1 seed LIU Post

Photo by Ed Jacobs, Jr.
Photo by Ed Jacobs, Jr.

DENVER, Colo. | The temperatures were on the chilly side - in the low 40s at first pitch - but that didn't affect the bats for the No. 8 seed Young Harris College as they collected 17 hits - three each from Maddie Urquiola and Jill Torres - as the Mountain Lions upset No. 1 seed and 23rd-ranked Long Island University Post 9-4 Thursday (May 23) afternoon at the Regency Athletic Complex in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Division II Softball National Championship being hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver.

It was the second consecutive year that the No. 8 seed defeated the top seed in the first round of the tournament.

The Mountain Lions, who are making their first-ever appearance at nationals, improved to 43-18. The 43 wins by Young Harris match the program record for wins set back in 2017. The Mountain Lions will now advance to Friday's (May 24) 11 a.m. Mountain time winner's bracket contest against No. 4 seed and third-ranked Texas A & M University Kingsville, which defeated No. 5 seed and seventh-ranked Grand Valley State University 2-1 in the first round. 

Morgan Curley led off the game with a single to left field for the Mountain Lions and Haylie Shope doubled her home for the first run of the game. Maddie Urquiola doubled off the wall in left center to score Michalyn Bingham to give YHC a 2-0 lead in the second inning. 

Abbey Fortin put the Pioneers on the board in the bottom half of the second with a solo homer to center field. LIU Post took a 3-2 lead in the third inning after Ashley Melendez singled to right center that allowed two runs to score. 

Urquiola tied the game at three for Young Harris with a RBI double to left center. Emily Harris gave the Mountain Lions a 4-3 lead with a squeeze bunt that had Katelynn Hodges running from third. 

Young Harris picked up three more runs in the fifth inning with RBI singles from Hodges and Harris and a bases-loaded walk from Grace Botti

Urquiola concluded the scoring for the Mountain Lions with her third double of the day down the left field line allowing Bingham to score. 

Nikkie Kovalsky (29-11) picked up the win for Young Harris as she gave up four runs (two earned) on eight hits with four walks and three strikeouts in seven innings pitched. 

Urquiola finished a perfect 3-for-3 with three doubles, four RBI, and a run scored. Jill Torres with 3-for-5. Harris had two hits and two RBI, while Shope collected two hits and a RBI. Hodges had one hit and a RBI, while Botti drove in a run. Curley, Bingham, and Kristan Lizardi each had two hits.

Katie Humhej (26-6) earned the loss for the Pioneers as she allowed four runs (one unearned) on seven hits in three innings pitched.