Belles finish 11th
Manuel De Jesus | Monday, April 7, 2014
At the Washington University in St. Louis Invite, where 10 of the 16 competing teams were ranked in the top 25, the Belles finished 11th with a two-day score of 681.
Despite having little time to practice due to weather, Saint Mary’s beat out No. 23 Wisconsin-Stout to take 11th place by a single stroke. Leading the way for the Belles was junior Janice Heffernan, who notched a score of 85 on the first day of the event and an 80 on the second day to finish in 46th place individually.Belles’ coach Kimberly Moore said that competing against the best teams in the country will help her team qualify for the NCAA championship.
“I think that by playing in a tournament where there are so many ranked NCAA Division III, NAIA and NJCA schools will hopefully help us realize that we can compete with them,” Moore said. “It just takes a few less mental errors and making a few more putts. I think whenever you get an opportunity to play with quality teams that it is always going to help you.”
The Belles’ senior captains Alexi Brown and Paige Pollak both competed well, finishing 60th and 63rd as individuals out of the 96 golfers who competed. Both seniors finished the fall season with first-team All-MIAA honors, and Moore wants to make sure they continue to achieve their individual goals in the spring, as well as their team goals.
“Each individual sets specific goals at the beginning of the season, and I am always hoping that by the end of the season I have helped them achieve those goals,” Moore said.
With all of the Belles’ recent success, Moore said she has been able to take a step back and admire the work that each golfer on the team has put into the year.
“I have had the opportunity to play college golf, and I have been in their shoes, and every time they execute a great shot or have a great hole, I am extremely happy for them and proud,” Moore said. “I know how difficult this game can be and the many trials and tribulations you have during a typical round, and I know how much time and effort they put into practice, so it is extremely gratifying when that practice pays off.”
The Belles will have the chance to continue their stretch of good play this weekend at Ohio Wesleyan’s Laura Bump Invitational at Mill Creek Golf Club in Ostrander, Ohio.