The Ball State Women’s golf team placed ninth out of 18 in the Western Michigan Rio Verde Invitational this weekend, shooting 918 over three rounds.
Head coach Cameron Andry said each time the team goes out he is looking for a little growth each time.
The Ball State’s five-person lineup consisted of junior Kiah Parrott, freshman Sarah Gallagher, freshman Jasmine Driscoll, freshman Madelin Boyd and sophomore Paige Hillman.
There were a total of seven Mid-American Conference (MAC) teams at the invite. Those teams included Western Michigan, Akron, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio and Ball State.
“Anytime we're facing those schools in the conference there's a little added incentive for us to try to finish ahead of them,” Andry said. “I think coming into today [the final round], we were just a few shots behind Akron and tied with Central Michigan. It was fun to play with a couple of those teams that are going to be vying for a high finish at the MAC championship.”
Andry hopes beating some MAC schools shows his players that the hard work they are putting in is working. He also said he sees a large improvement because some of the teams beaten in this tournament were teams that beat them in the fall.
Friday - Round One
“It's a really good golf course, a very fair, good challenge,” Andry said. “The greens probably presented the biggest challenge, they were pretty firm and fast. You could shoot a pretty good score too if you could get it going.”
Round one saw a consistent grouping of scores that would count in scoring. Gallagher and Boyd led in the first round with a 2-over-par score of 74.
The other two scoring rounds came from Parrott and Driscoll who both shot 5-over-par 77. Hillman shot 12-over-par 84.
The three freshmen in the lineup, Gallagher, Boyd and Driscoll all have a large amount of tournament experience Andry said. He also said that they have experience on the national and international stages.
“They're growing every time out there, getting a little bit better and probably a little bit more comfortable,” Andry said. “We need them because they're definitely three of our bests. If we're going to reach our potential we need them to keep getting better and I think they are.”
Saturday - Round Two
Round two saw the same consistency that was apparent in round one. Parrott lead the team with a score of 2-over-par 74 and was closely followed by Boyd who posted a 3-over-par 75.
Driscoll and Gallagher both shot a 5-over-par 77, keeping the scoring rounds within 2-over-par and 5-over-par for the first two rounds.
“I thought we did a really good job of being disciplined, picking our spots well and putting ourselves in good spots even when we missed,” Andry said. “We were in spots where we were able to give ourselves a good chance at a par and we really didn't make a whole lot of big numbers.”
Sunday - Round Three
Round three would see that Cardinals fall back a few spots in the rankings.
Round three was led by Parrott, who started her round 3-under-par after two holes, but after a triple, she would be back to even par. She would finish the day shooting a 2-over-par 74.
Andry said sometimes it is harmful to start off like that sometimes and your mind can start racing in the wrong direction but nevertheless he saw Parrott's effort.
“Kiah was a little bit frustrated with today and honestly with the whole week just because she felt like every time she got something going, she would take a step backward and make a mistake here or there, but I was proud of her,” Andry said.
Driscoll posted a 6-over-par 78 and was closely followed by Hillman who shot a 7-over-par 79. Gallagher and Boyd both shot an 8-over-par 80.
Ball State will be back in action on Mar. 13-14 at the Spring Break Shootout at Lake Jovita Golf Club in Flordia. The Cardinals will leave at the beginning of Ball State’s spring break here next week to get some practice time in down in Flordia as well.
“I thought we were exposed a little bit today in the winds,” Andry said. “We were not feeling super comfortable sometimes executing. That'll be something that we'll continue to focus on over the next couple of weeks.”