Women's golf finishes second at SBC Championship

Program puts together record tournament, but falls to Denver by five strokes

April 20, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - A year after posting the best finish in school history at the Sun Belt Championship, the Middle Tennessee golf team put together another second place finish, carding a five-over round of 293 on Wednesday to end with a 16-over 880 at The Shoals Golf Club in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

The three-round tournament total of 880 is a new school best, breaking the previous record by 15 strokes.

"I think this team has been very capable all year long," head coach Chris Adams said. "To come through and put together a three-day stretch like that was nice. It was fun to see our name at the top of the leaderboard, and to break a record is quite a big deal for this group."

For the third day in a row, the Blue Raiders held a lead, but Denver was able to come back yet again for their eighth consecutive conference title. The five stroke difference made up the closest finish in the event since the Pioneers edged North Texas by three in 2006.

Karisa Akin kept her outstanding run going, carding a one-under 71 to end the event tied for the lead. The junior was the only golfer in the field to post three rounds of even par or better, but fell in a playoff to Arkansas State's Anna Carling. Akin's finish earned her a spot on the All-Conference team for the second consecutive year.

"Karisa was really striking the ball well, and she spent most of the day at two-under," Adams said. "It was a great event for her. To play so well in a field as talented as this is quite an accomplishment. I'm very proud of her."

Akin's three-round total of a one-under 215 is tied for the third-best tournament total in school history and just a stroke shy of former Blue Raider Taryn Durham's record of 214.

Aside from Akin, Olivia Love also put together a notable tournament, posting even rounds of 72 on both Tuesday and Wednesday to end tied for sixth at three-over.

Ashley Haggard also had a memorable third round, posting a one-over 73 on Wednesday, her best of the spring. The sophomore finished tied for 19th at 10-over.

Stephanie Smith shot a five-over 77 to end tied for 24th at 12-over, and Morgan Hale tied for 37th at 16-over after carding a nine-over 81.

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Middle Tennessee has now concluded its spring season and will return to action in the fall.

1. Denver - 289-294-292=875 (+11)
2. Middle Tennessee - 300-287-293=880 (+16)
3. UALR - 293-302-292=887 (+23)
4. North Texas - 293-301-295=889 (+25)
5. FIU - 302-290-300=892 (+28)
6. Arkansas State - 299-300-299=898 (+34)
7. Troy - 301-309-303=913 (+49)
8. South Alabama - 310-301-304=915 (+51)
9. Florida Atlantic - 305-304-311=920 (+56)
10. ULM - 313-313-312=938 (+74)
11. Western Kentucky - 312-312-316=940 (+76)

T1. Karisa Akin - 72-72-71=215 (-1)
T6. Olivia Love - 75-72-72=219 (+3)
T19. Ashley Haggard - 76-77-73=226 (+10)
T24. Stephanie Smith - 77-74-77=228 (+12)
T37. Morgan Hale - 82-69-81=232 (+16)

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