Women's golf finishes in seventh place at the Redbird Invitational

    Ashleigh Rushing was one of only four golfers to shoot an even-par or better round during the tournament.

    Ashleigh Rushing was one of only four golfers to shoot an even-par or better round during the tournament.
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    By John Lock

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    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
    1st Toledo 303 307 305 915
    2nd Bowling Green State 312 301 315 928
    3rd Illinois State 300 315 315 930
    4th Ball State 305 317 312 933
    5th Bradley 305 317 314 936
    6th Akron 322 306 313 941
    7th Southern Illinois 312 323 311 946
    t-8th Eastern Kentucky 322 314 323 959
    t-8th Drake 318 316 325 959
    10th Ohio 322 320 321 963
    11th Oakland 327 322 319 968
    12th Western Illinois 318 325 326 969
    13th South Dakota State 318 338 325 981
    14th Evansville 344 319 329 992
    15th Illinois Wesleyan 332 339 327 998