By Cameron Blair
Eastern’s women’s golf team used a 14-stroke improvement in the final round of the Lady Indian Classic Tuesday to move from ninth place into a tie for second place in the tournament hosted by Arkansas State University.The tournament was shortened to two rounds from three after rain interrupted play on Monday.
The Colonels posted a score of 317 in the first round of the tournament. The slow start was influenced by poor weather and the team’s inexperience on the course, Head Coach Joni Stephens said.
Day two of the tournament was a different story for the Colonels. Eastern posted the lowest round of the day with a score of 303 on its way to its second-place finish with an overall score of 620.
“It was just one of those rounds where it all came together for us,” Stephens said.
“The girls just played really focused and relaxed.”
Tournament host Arkansas State led from start to finish, finishing with an overall score of 603.
OVC teams Murray State and Austin Peay were two of the team’s Eastern passed with its strong second round play. The Colonels entered the second round trailing Murray State by eight strokes and Austin Peay by four strokes.
“It’s always a great confidence booster when you beat teams in your conference,” Stephens said. “Especially when you come from behind to do it.”
Junior Kelli Warner led the way for the Colonels, posting back to back rounds of 74 and finishing with an overall score of 148. Warner finished the tournament with the second lowest individual score.
“Kelli had a great tournament,” Stephens said. “Her focus out there was absolutely wonderful to watch.”
Although no other Colonels finished in the top 20, two players stepped up their play in the second round to propel Eastern’s comeback.
Junior Leslie Booth improved on her first round score of 81 by six strokes, firing a second round 75. Junior Melissa Rosloniec shot a 76 in the second round, seven strokes better than her first round score of 83.
Booth and Rosloniec finished the tournament in ties for 24th and 34th places, respectively.
Next up for the Colonels is the University of Cincinnati Fall Classic. First round play in the tournament is scheduled to begin Monday.