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Women's golf in fifth at Sun Belt Championship

Akin tied for fifth

April 18, 2011 · Athletic Communications

  • Photos: Round One Gallery
  • MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - After finishing in fourth at last year's Sun Belt Championship, Karisa didn't miss a beat in the 2011 edition, carding an even-par 72 to end the first round in a tie for fifth (out of 55), just two strokes off the tournament lead. As a team, the Blue Raiders are sitting in fifth (out of 11) after shooting a 12-over 300 at The Shoals Golf Club in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

    "I think we led for most of the day today, but we really let those last two holes get to us," head coach Chris Adams said. "We need to be able to finish on days like this, but we're not out of it. We have our work cut out for us over the next two days, but we can put up a good number on this course. We just need to be consistent."

    Denver holds the tournament lead at one-over.

    Akin's form, especially towards the end of the day, was impeccable, recording two birdies and eight pars over her final ten holes.

    "After last year, I really think Karisa is comfortable with this course," Adams said. She's in a bit of a zone right now, and it's nice to see."

    Olivia Love was even through the first 12 holes before ultimately ending the day in a tie for 17th at three over, and Ashley Haggard had a similar story, shooting one-under on the front nine on the way to finishing tied for 24th at four-over.

    "I think Olivia and Ashley were holding on pretty well for most of the day," Adams said. "It just got away a bit there at the end. We need to be able to finish strong and not let a bad hole lead to another bad hole."

    Stephanie Smith, competing in her first ever Sun Belt Championship, started off with two birdies in her first three holes, but ended at five-over, tied for 31st.

    Morgan Hale is in a tie for 51st at 10-over.

    Middle Tennessee will continue play at the Sun Belt Championship on Tuesday. Live scoring is available on Golfstat.com.

    TEAM SCORES
    1. Denver - 289 (+1)
    T2. North Texas - 293 (+5)
    T2. UALR - 293 (+5)
    4. Arkansas State - 299 (+11)
    5. Middle Tennessee - 300 (+12)
    6. Troy - 301 (+13)
    7. FIU - 302 (+14)
    8. Florida Atlantic - 305 (+17)
    9. South Alabama - 310 (+22)
    10. Western Kentucky - 312 (+24)
    11. ULM - 313 (+25)

    PHOTOS
    View more photos

    MT SCORES
    T5. Karisa Akin - 72 (E)
    T17. Olivia Love - 75 (+3)
    T24. Ashley Haggard - 76 (+4)
    T31. Stephanie Smith - 77 (+5)
    T51. Morgan Hale - 82 (+10)

    Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.