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Gore leads team in opening tourney

Chris Doyen | Monday, September 3, 2007

Saint Mary’s shot a combined score of 697 this weekend at the Ferris State Invitational in Big Rapids, Mich., to earn a 13th-place tie with Northwood University.

The Belles jumped up one spot in the standing Sunday after finishing the first round of play in 14th.

Senior Katie O’Brien shot a fifteen-over-par 87 in the first round to lead the Belles. Freshman Emily Gore was only one stroke off O’Brien’s pace with an 88, freshman Amanda Mainstone shot a 90, and freshman Megan Lehr and junior Perri Hamma both shot 91s to give the Belles a first-round score of 356.

Gore had an impressive second round Sunday, posting a score of 80 that gave her a 168 overall. The rookie’s performance was good enough for 45th on the individual leaderboard, the best showing of any Saint Mary’s player.

O’Brien, Mainstone and Hamma also had good showings, shooting 88, 86 and 87, respectively, giving the Belles a second round score of 341 and enabling them to move up into 13th place.

Ferris State won its own tournament with a forty-over-par 616. Ferris State senior Jacqueline Benscoter was the lowest-scoring individual of the tournament, shooting an even 144.

Head coach Mark Hamilton was very pleased with the performance of his freshmen, who fit in nicely with upperclassman scorers O’Brien and Hamma.

“It helps us a lot,” Hamilton said. “They played really well despite it being their first tournament at a difficult course and against tough competition. Emily Gore played especially well [Sunday].”

Hamilton acknowledged, however, that the Belles’ performance over the weekend was not quite as good as it could have been.

“We scored a little higher than we would have wanted in the first round,” Hamilton said. “The front nine was tough on Saturday. Once everyone got their feet under them, we played really well, but by then the damage was already done.”

The Belles begin MIAA conference play next Saturday as they take on Kalamazoo on the road.