Record day moves Blue Raiders up the leaderboard

Middle Tennessee in second after two rounds at Sun Belt Championship

April 19, 2011 · Athletic Communications

  • Photos: Round Two Gallery
  • MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - The Middle Tennessee women's golf team found themselves 11 strokes off the pace entering play on Tuesday, but went on to post the second-best round in school history with a one-under 287 to move into second place at 11-over at the Sun Belt Championship at The Shoals Golf Club in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

    "We really came out of the gates hot," head coach Chris Adams said. "At one point today, we were actually sitting at 11-under. The wind kind of played with us out there on the course, so you have to take your hat off to the girls for dealing with the conditions and the pressure. We had the low round of the day, and we have a chance to do something special tomorrow. We're in this."

    Denver currently holds the lead in the event at seven-over.

    The Blue Raiders were led by the outstanding play of Morgan Hale, who set a school-record for the conference championship event with a three-under 69. The senior is now in a tie for 19th at seven-over. Hale was most impressive in the middle of the round on Tuesday, posting six birdies over a span of eight holes.

    "Morgan was really on today," Adams said. "Her confidence really showed and her form was very positive. Her playing so well as a senior only gives you something that the rest of the team can feed off of."

    However, Hale wasn't the only standout performer as both Karisa Akin and Olivia Love posted an even-par 72. Akin is now tied for first in the tournament at even par. Love is in a tie for 10th at three-over.

    Stephanie Smith put up a pair of clutch birdies down the stretch to finish the day with a two-over 74. The sophomore is now tied for 19th at seven-over.

    "This is the type of round we've always had in us," Adams said. "Today was a total team effort, and to get everyone on the same page is nice to see. We have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow, and we just need to keep it going."

    Ashley Haggard is tied for 31st at nine-over after shooting a five-over 77.

    View more photos

    Middle Tennessee will now head into the third and final day of play at the Sun Belt Championship. Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.com with additional coverage provided from Twitter.com/MTWomensGolf.

    1. Denver - 289-294=583 (+7)
    2. Middle Tennessee - 300-287=587 (+11)
    3. FIU - 302-290=592 (+16)
    4. North Texas - 293-301=594 (+18)
    5. UALR - 293-302=595 (+19)
    6. Arkansas State - 299-300=599 (+23)
    7. Florida Atlantic - 305-304=609 (+33)
    8. Troy - 301-309=610 (+34)
    9. South Alabama - 310-301=611 (+35)
    10. Western Kentucky - 312-312=624 (+48)
    11. ULM - 313-313 (+50)

    T1. Karisa Akin - 72-72=144 (E)
    T10. Olivia Love - 75-72=147 (+3)
    T19. Morgan Hale - 82-69=151 (+7)
    T19. Stephanie Smith - 77-74=151 (+7)
    T31. Ashley Haggard - 76-77=153 (+9)

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