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Saint Mary’s places second at Invitational

Anne Loughery | Monday, October 4, 2004

Second place usually warrants a shoulder shrug. Many coaches would talk about second place finishes like they have a chip on their shoulders. But not Saint Mary’s Mark Hamilton. Although the Belles finished in second place this weekend at the Oshkosh Invitational, Hamilton was pleased with the team’s performance.”I’m proud of how the ladies played under such tough conditions,” Hamilton said. “I wish we could have come out on top, but we played our best.”The Belles battled 40 mile per hour winds and a chilly temperature of 35 degrees Saturday morning. Despite the harsh weather conditions and a challenging course, Saint Mary’s finished with a two-day score of 683 strokes. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire captured first place with 675 strokes, University of Wisconsin-Platteville trailed the Belles with 707, University of Wisconsin-River Falls finished in fourth place at 721 shots and host University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh shot a team score of 725 for fifth place.Junior Megan Mattia led the Belles with a fifth place finish, firing a two-day score of 166. Hamilton cited Mattia as an individual who realized her potential this weekend.”She got a little more on track this week. I’m expecting her to shoot a couple of rounds in the seventies this year,” Hamilton said. “I think she’ll be one of the pillars of next year’s hopefully successful team.”Logging a seventh place finish, senior Stefanie Simmerman registered a 169. Senior captain Chrissy Dunham, who struggled with a foot injury earlier this week, earned a tenth place finish with 172 strokes. Hamilton praised Dunham for her persistence.”[Dunham] played as well as she would even if she didn’t have an injury,” Hamilton said. “She hit a lot of good shots and really toughed it out.”Juniors Julia Adams, Nicole Bellino and Kirsten Fantom rounded out the roster, with 176, 181, and 183, respectively. Hamilton wasn’t the only one to applaud the team for its performance this weekend. “A lot of the coaches there said considering the fact that we’ve never played that course before, we played really well,” Hamilton said. “I was really proud of the girls this weekend I think we proved that we could play well even under bad conditions.”The Belles will have an opportunity to prove themselves once again at the MIAA championships next weekend. This time, however, pressure will most likely be the variable affecting the team’s performance.”We want to win the conference title,” Hamilton said. “And after this meet, I think we’re prepared.”