ETSU women prepare to open play Monday at A-Sun Championship
Natalia Giraldo will attempt to improve on her solid showing in last year's A-Sun Championship.
Natalia Giraldo will attempt to improve on her solid showing in last year's A-Sun Championship.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

            BUIES CREEK, N.C. (April 8, 2007) - The Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Golf Championship returns to Buies Creek, N.C., and the Keith Hills Country Club for the second time conference history on Monday, and the ETSU women's golf team hopes to ruin the homecoming for the defending champion and host Campbell Fighting Camels.

 

   However, the Lady Bucs - who are enjoying their most successful season in school history - will be battling against history when play opens early Monday morning. In the last visit to the Keith Hills Country Club for an A-Sun Championship event, the home team walked away with their sixth title. Since then Campbell has added one more crown and will look to repeat as the conference champions, a feat the Fighting Camels have accomplished on three previous occasions.

 

   For more on the upcoming championship, see the preview information located below.

 

CLIMBING TO THE TOP
Top-10 finishers from a year ago look to move up

    Six top-10 finishers from the 2006 field are returning to battle for the 2007 individual crown and give their respective teams a boost in the standings.


    The defending champs, Campbell, return the most with three of last year's top-10 returning. Along with the 2006 individual champion, Alejandra Shaw, the Lady Camels return Maite Ortiz de Pinedo and Emily Simpson.


    Ortiz de Pinedo finished sixth last season at the championship event and looks to move up in the standings as a junior. Earlier this spring, she captured medalist honors at the Fighting Camel Spring Classic.


    As a team, ETSU finished second last season and returns two of its three top-10 finishers. Although the Lady Bucs lost Ashley Barton to graduation, they return Natalia Giraldo (Cali, Colombia) and Lucy Gould (Bargoed, Wales). The two finished fifth and 10th, respectively, last season.


    The remaining top-10 finisher from a year ago hails from Jacksonville. The Dolphins finished fourth at last season's event and return Jessica Green, who finished in a seventh place tie in 2006.    

FIRST TIME CONTENDERS
Driving to the top of the leader board

    Led by two rookies, ETSU and Stetson have looked on as freshmen Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia) and Lauren Darnell, respectively, have been key contributors to their success in 2006-07.


    Jansone is part of a freshman class of four on a roster that includes just three upperclassmen. She has not allowed her youthfulness to hinder her playing abilities, however, as she quickly wrote her name in the school record books, recording a team and league low round of 69, one stroke off of the Atlantic Sun Championship record.


    She also holds ETSU's only first place finish of the season, earning medalist honors at the Lady Pirate Fall Intercollegiate. Jansone's lowest three-round stroke total of 216 is tops on her team and is the third lowest by an A-Sun competitor this season.


     Darnell has enjoyed similar success on her Stetson squad, recording four first place finishes during the season, making her the most decorated A-Sun golfer entering the 2007 championships.


    Although Darnell is only a freshman, she is playing like a seasoned A-Sun veteran. During the spring season she posted a three-round stroke total of 212, a mark that has never been accomplished in the championship and one that leads all other Atlantic Sun golfers entering the conference event.


    The championship record for the lowest three-round total was set in 1999 when Campbell's Kylie Pratt shot a 214 (-2) en route to earning the individual crown.


    Darnell's 212 established a new Stetson record for lowest three-round total and also anchored a new team record for lowest 54-hole total (887).

SOPHOMORE TRIO LEADS BELMONT, LIPSCOMB
Catlin, Rowden, Warren carry load for Nashville schools

    The Atlantic Sun Conference features a very talented young group of freshmen and sophomores that are making an early impact for their respective schools.


    A sophomore class consisting of Belmont's Lorie Warren,  and the duo of Ashlee Catlin and Brie Rowden from Lipscomb have stepped in to programs that they have been able to pay immediate dividends to by leading the way.


    Warren finished in a tie for 13th place at the 2006 A-Sun Championship and has lead her Bruin squad throughout the fall and spring seasons. She has recorded Belmont's only individual first-place finish this season, earning medalist honors at the Samford Intercollegiate. Warren also leads Belmont with the lowest stroke total in a single round (72) and the lowest three-round shot total (223). In just her second season with the Bruins, Warren holds the school record for the lowest round of 18, shooting a 71.


    Across town in Nashville, Tenn., the Lipscomb women's golf program has had not just one, but two under-classmen jump into the leadership roles for a team mainly comprised of juniors and seniors.


    Catlin is the top-returner for the Lady Bisons and statistically, is tied with teammate and fellow sophomore Brie Rowden for lowest shot totals on the season.


    Rowden and Catlin have, on more than one occasion, tied each other for Lipscomb's best finish in an event. The two have recorded the best individual finishes for Lipscomb this season and both have shot a three-round 236 to lead their team.


    Catlin has shot a low round of 73 at the Belmont Invitational to break a tie with Rowden as they enter the tournament.
    
HISTORY COULD REPEAT ITSELF WITH REPEAT
Shaw, Campbell seek second straight titles

    Campbell's Alejandra Shaw enters the 2007 AtlanticSun Women's Golf Championship as one of the favorites. After all she is the reigning champion and helped lead the Lady Camels to four consecutive first-place finishes during the regular season.


    Shaw leads her team with the lowest round (69) and the lowest three-round stroke total (214). Her round of 69 ties her with ETSU freshman Laura Jansone for the lowest round in the Atlantic Sun this season as the two enter the A-Sun Championship.


    Her three-round low of 214 is second-best in the conference behind Stetson's Lauren Darnell (212).


    A repeat for Shaw would be nothing new for the Atlantic Sun or Campbell. Prior to Shaw's 2006 victory, Georgia State's Lisbeth Meincke won back-to-back-to-back individual title from 2003-2005.


    During a four year span from 1997-2001, student-athletes from Campbell captured four consecutive individual titles, with Mara Larrauri repeating as champion in both 1997 and 1998.


    The only other repeat champion was Moira Dunn from Florida International. Dunn captured individual honors from 1991-1993.


    History is in favor of Shaw, who has coninuously improved in each of her three appearances in the event. In her rookie campaign, 2003, the freshman finished sixth (227). The following year she shaved off two strokes and earned a second place finish before taking home medalist honors at the championship event one year ago.

BY THE NUMBERS
Lowest total of 2007 entering the tournament

Individual Low 18
Laura Jansone, ETSU (69)
Alejandra Shaw, Campbell (69)
Individual Low 54
Lauren Darnell, Stetson (212)
Team Low 18
Campbell (286)
Team Low 54
Campbell (877)

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