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Belles finish in second

Chris Doyen | Monday, September 10, 2007

The Saint Mary’s golf team got off to a good start in the 2007 MIAA season Saturday in Kalamazoo, finishing second to Olivet in the first of three MIAA jamborees with a score of 345.

Senior captain Katie O’Brien shot a 76 to lead all players in the field. Freshman Emily Gore sustained some momentum from last weekend in shooting an 86, while freshmen Michelle Hird and Amanda Mainstone shot a 93 and 95, respectively.

Junior Perri Hamma shot a 95 to round out the scoring for the Belles. Gore’s 86 placed her one stroke behind a top ten finish on the individual leaderboard.

Freshmen Megan Lehr and Rosie O’Connor both shot 90s while competing as individuals.

Before Saturday’s jamboree, head coach Mark Hamilton stressed the need for consistency in MIAA competition. With the tightly packed MIAA standing, Saint Mary’s cannot afford to have any bad days this year. The Belles experienced no such hiccup at Kalamazoo, coming in only 10 strokes behind 2006 conference champion Olivet.

O’Brien’s performance was especially impressive. She finished a comfortable five strokes ahead of her nearest individual competitor, Olivet’s Megan Rimmel.

Consistency will continue to be key, as only 18 strokes separate second-place Saint Mary’s from sixth-place Albion. Tri-State and Hope are just two and three strokes behind the Belles, respectively.

The Belles look prepared to top their record from last year. The 345 they tallied on Saturday is 19 strokes better than their best round in MIAA competition in the 2006 fall season.

Olivet will likely provide stiff competition throughout the year. Four Olivet golfers placed in the top 10 on the individual leaderboard.

If O’Brien and Gore continue playing the way they have so far, the Belles will be able to keep pace with Olivet and compete for the MIAA championship.

Saint Mary’s will be back in action Tuesday at Tri-State when it participates in the second MIAA jamboree.

The Observer could not reach any members of the team for comment following Sunday’s tournament.