By Arthur Lewis/Assistant sports editor

“It was our best opening tournament since I can remember,” coach Joni Stephens said. Last weekend, the Lady Colonels golf team finished strongly, capturing third place out of a field of 17 teams at the Ball State Cardinal Classic. Their final score was 618.

After shooting an opening round of 312, Stephens felt very optimistic about the final outcome of the tournament.

“I felt like we would finish in the top four after the first day,” Stephens said.

Prior to last weekend, Eastern had never played at Ball State before. Its unfamiliarity of this course also involved the distance of it as well.

“Usually, we play on courses about 5,900-6,000 yards long, but this course was a 6,100-yard course,” Stephens said.

“I was pleased with their performance,” Stephens added.

The insurmountable odds of catching up with the leaders, Western Michigan and Ferris State, were inescapable. Their stellar performance separated them from the other teams. Western Michigan won with a score of 581, and Ferris State finished second with 597.

“We needed to play record-setting golf in order to catch up to them,” Stephens said.

Freshman Ashley Peyman did just that, shooting a Lady Colonels record low of 70 in one round. Unfortunately, her score did not count with the rest of the team because she was a last-minute addition to the tournament.

“I was able to play only because one of my teammates wasn’t,” Peyman said.

Her score of 151 gave her a tie for 10th place.

Peyman explained how nervous she was after the first round.

“I had one bad hole, but the second day I came out more confident,” Peyman said.

Her score of 70 was her personal best, but she was unaware that it was an Eastern record until the team was on the way back home.

Other Colonel standouts were Leah Larkin, who tied for 15th with a score of 154, and Melissa Rosloniec, who tied for 19th with a score of 155. Brittainy Klein finished with a score of 157.

Kelli Warner and Aubree Moore rounded out the scores for the Colonels with rounds of 158 and 159, respectively.

“Everyone on the team is capable of shooting good scores,” Larkin said.

The Lady Colonels will compete in the Louisville Cardinal Cup this Monday. Expectations are high for the team.

“Last year we finished sixth; this year I expect us to be in the top three,” Stephens said.

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