Ashleigh Rushing was one of only four golfers to shoot an even-par or better round during the tournament.
By John Lock
NORMAL, Ill. - The Southern Illinois women's golf team finished in seventh place at the Redbird Invitational, hosted by Illinois State. SIU was led by Cassie and Ashleigh Rushing, who finished tied for 11th.
"I was glad to see we played better in the last round," head coach Alexis Mihelich said. "The Rushing sisters both played three solid rounds of golf. We can build off this going forward."
SIU's final round team score (311) was the second-best score on the day, trailing only eventual champion Toledo (305), but it wasn't enough to make up for a second round (323) that dropped the Salukis from fourth place after the first round into eighth. The Salukis finished five shots back of sixth-place Akron.
Ashleigh Rushing shot an even-par 72 in the opening round--one of only four golfers in the 87-golfer field to shoot even par or better during a round in the tournament. Cassie Rushing fired back-to-back 78s on the first day and improved four strokes on the second day to pull into a tie with her twin sister for 11th place individually.
Freshman Amy Lee also improved four strokes from her second-round total and finished third for the Salukis and tied for 37th overall. Another freshman, Mattie Lindner, and senior Shaina Rennegarbe rounded out the Saluki five tied for 61st individually. Lindner lowered her score by eight strokes in the final round, leading a group of four SIU women who shot their best round during the last round.
A third newcomer, Alexis Gatton, competed as an individual and finished one shot back of Lindner and Rennegarbe. Gatton also saved her best round for last, shooting a final-round 84.
Southern finished ahead of two Missouri Valley Conference teams, Evansville and Drake, and behind two other MVC school, Illinois State and Bradley.
Toledo won the tournament by a convincing 13 strokes. Illinois State's Katie Jean won the individual crown by four strokes.
Southern is back in action on Sept. 17-18 at the Drake Creek Invitational in Ledbetter, Ky., hosted by Murray State.
SIU Individual Scores
t-11.) Ashleigh Rushing: 72-80-78 (230)
t-11.) Cassie Rushing: 78-78-74 (230)
t-37.) Amy Lee: 79-83-79 (241)
t-61.) Mattie Lindner: 83-88-80 (251)
t-61.) Shaina Rennegarbe: 85-82-84 (251)
66.) Alexis Gatton: 86-84-82 (252)*
*Competed as an individual
|Place||School||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Rd. 3||Total|
|2nd||Bowling Green State||312||301||315||928|
|13th||South Dakota State||318||338||325||981|