Women's Golf wins Saluki Invitational for second consecutive year

    Cassie Rushing won the first tournament of her collegiate career at the Saluki Invitational.

    Cassie Rushing won the first tournament of her collegiate career at the Saluki Invitational.
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    March 26, 2012

    Final Stats

    By John Lock

    Saluki Invitational ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's golf team won the Saluki Invitational on Monday, and Cassie Rushing posted the fifth-best score in Invitational history and took home medalist honors in the event. The win was the fourth win of the season for SIU, the most wins in a season since yearly records started being consistently kept in 1983.

    Cassie Rushing won the tournament by two strokes to take her first win of the year, marking the fifth individual crown for a Saluki golfer this year. Rushing is the sixth Saluki to win the individual title in the 18-year history of the Saluki Invitational. No other team has more than three individual champions. The Salukis won the Invitaional as a team for the sixth time, as well, the most wins of any team in tournament history.

    "I am thrilled that Cassie finally earned her first collegiate victory and now that she has it under her belt there will be more to come," SIU head coach Alexis Mihelich said.  "It was so special to see her final holes to close out the win." 

    Rushing defeated Iowa's Chelsea Harris for the top honors.  The sophomore from Marion, Ill. finished with a 146, which ties her career-best score on 18 holes and becomes the sixth Saluki to win the invitational title. She led the tournament with 28 pars and tied for the tournament lead in par-5 scoring.  

    Four Saluki golfers finished among the top five scores. Margaret Gilley, Alisha Matthews and Shaina Rennegarbe all tied for fifth with a two-round total of 154.

    Ryann Gilley scored the tournament's only hole-in-one on the par-3 17th and finished in a tie for 66th with a 169.

    "As a team we played consistent and solid both days with Shaina, Alisha and Margaret all coming through when we needed them the most," Mihelich said. 

    Playing as individuals, Ashleigh Rushing (158) tied for 19th, Jennifer Bernhardt (163) tied for 42nd and Amber Phillips (174) tied for 80th place in the 96-player tournament.

    The Salukis have now won their own invitational five times and have now won the tournament in back-to-back seasons. They tied for the lead par-3 scoring and were second among the 17 teams in par-4 and par-5 scoring.  The Dawgs also led the tournament with 19 birdies.

    The Salukis are back in action on April 6-7 at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational in Peoria, Ill.

    1.) Cassie Rushing (72-74) - 146
    t-5.) Margaret Gilley (77-77) - 154
    t-5.) Alisha Matthews (74-80) - 154
    t-5.) Shaina Rennegarbe (78-76) - 154
    t-66.) Ryann Gilley (87-82) - 169

    t-19.) Ashleigh Rushing (80-78)* - 158
    t-42.) Jennifer Bernhardt (84-79)* - 163
    t-80.) Amber Phillips (86-88)* - 174

    *Competed as an individual

    1.) Southern Illinois (301-307) - 608
    2.) Iowa (309-309) - 618
    3.) IUPUI (318-309) - 627
    4.) Eastern Kentucky (321-313) - 634
    4.) Loyola (318-316) - 634
    6.) Indiana State (318-323) - 641
    7.) Northern Illinois (317-325) - 642
    8.) SIU-Edwardsville (317-326) - 643
    9.) Western Illinois (319-326) - 645
    10.) Chicago State (325-324) - 649
    10.) Austin Peay (330-319) - 649
    12.) Eastern Illinois (331-328) - 659
    13.) Dayton (329-335) - 659
    14.) Nebraska-Omaha (328-338) - 666
    15.) IPFW (336-340) - 676
    16.) Rend Lake (351-352) 703
    17.) John A. Logan (367-384) 751