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Women’s golf riding high

Stinson watches her shot during tournament play. Photo courtesy App State Athletics.

Stinson watches her shot during tournament play. Photo courtesy App State Athletics.

Stinson watches her shot during tournament play. Photo courtesy App State Athletics.

Stinson watches her shot during tournament play. Photo courtesy App State Athletics.

Monica Crawford

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Coming from behind to win the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate tournament was a tall task, according to Mountaineers’ head coach Heather Brown.

“I knew we could jump up and get second or third if we played well,” Brown said. “First wasn’t out of reach for sure, but I knew there had to be some good numbers.”

The App State women’s golf team competed in the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate tournament in Morganton, North Carolina on April 3-4. The Mountaineers teed off in a three way tie for fourth place Monday morning, but were able to shoot a team and tournament low of 299 on Sunday to come back and win the tournament. This is the second year in a row that the Mountaineers have finished first at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate, which is considered their home tournament and is organized by Brown.

The team finished with a total of 607, which was only one shot below Jacksonville State, who was in the lead after day one of competition. According to junior Emily Stinson, the team did not know that they were going to finish in first place until the scores were put up on the board.

“We were waiting by the scoreboard and waiting for the scores to be put up,” Stinson said. “With all the number coming up we kept getting more and more excited.”

The team was behind by five shots going into competition on Sunday, and coming back to win the tournament showed the perseverance of the team, freshman Joliana Elias said.

The Mountaineers saw notable performances from sophomore Savanna Wood as well as Stinson and Elias. Wood and Stinson both played around par all tournament long according to Brown, and Elias played under par for multiple rounds. Wood, Stinson and Elias all shot below 80 both days of the tournament, which was essential for the team to win, Brown said.

Wood led the Mountaineers with a total of 148 and a second place finish. She had a score of 75 after round one, and she shaved two strokes off of that score to finish with 73 on Monday.

At her first time competing in the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate, Elias had a score of 76 after round one, which she was able to get down to 75 after round two. Elias earned a total of 151 and finished in 11th place.

Stinson finished two spots below Elias in 13th place with a total of 152. She shot 78 on Sunday and took four shots off her score to finish with a score of 74 on Monday.

The Mountaineers will play next at the Sun Belt Conference Championships. Their win at the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate tournament will help give the team confidence and momentum going into conference, Brown said.

“We’re going into a conference that’s going to play tough, but I don’t think that will distract them and keep them from playing well,” Brown said. “We’re going to try and ride this momentum into conference, and they’re going to have more confidence.”

This will be the team’s second time competing in the Sun Belt Conference, and with a fourth place finish last year, the team is looking to do better this year, according to Stinson. Both Stinson and Brown agreed that the team has a chance at doing well in the conference championship this year.

“They know that conference is tough,” Brown said. “It’s going to be a dogfight. We know we have to make sure we’re prepared to go in there when we’re ready to fight, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

The Mountaineers will head to Miramar, Florida on April 17 to compete in the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

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