Goodwin makes ace, Meisch earns spot in national championship for Eagles

STOCKTON, Calif. (May 4, 2016) – What could have been a forgettable day for Oklahoma Christian’s women’s golf team instead became one that at least two of the Lady Eagles will long remember.

In the final round of the NCAA Division II West Super Regional at Brookside Country Club on Wednesday, OC freshman Kate Goodwin recorded the first hole-in-one in the program’s five-year history, a career highlight under any circumstances.

Not to be outdone, senior Audrey Meisch posted her career-best round, a sizzling 4-under-par 68, to shoot up the leaderboard and earn one of three individual berths into the Division II Championship, set for May 18-21 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colo.

Meisch finished tied for sixth at 219 (3-over) and her strong round helped the Lady Eagles vault three spots to finish eighth in the ultra-competitive 12-team Super Regional field. OC’s 292 team score was the best of the day and gave the Lady Eagles a final three-day score of 909.

Meisch became (by a few hours) the first OC athlete ever to qualify for an NCAA Championship event in any sport. The Wichita, Kan., product’s previous best round was a 69 she shot at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond in a tournament during her sophomore season in 2014.

Starting on No. 10 on Wednesday, Meisch birdied her first hole and was 3-under with four birdies – three on par-5s – midway through her round on the 5,931-yard course. She birdied No. 1 and No. 3 (a par-3) to go to 5-under before a bogey on No. 6 left her at 4-under.

She began the day tied for 28th in the 66-woman field, but moved up 22 spots to put her in position to grab one of the three national-tournament spots that went to the top finishers whose team hadn’t qualified. For good measure, Meisch won a playoff on No. 18 with Sterling Hawkins of Academy of Art (Calif.) to claim the No. 2 individual berth.

Hawkins took the No. 3 berth, with the No. 1 berth going to California Baptist’s Erika Wang, who tied for third individually at 216. Isabell Jimenez Perea of team champion Tarleton State (Texas) was the medalist, finishing at 6-under 210.

OC junior India Matthews also had a solid round, an even-par 72 (with four birdies) that gave her a final score of 227, tied for 27th. Goodwin tied for 40th at 231 after posting a 75. Her ace came on the par-3, 121-yard No. 14.

Junior Allison Sell shot a 77 (recording two birdies along the way) and tied for 43rd at 232, while freshman Elizabeth Freeman closed at 256 after shooting an 85.

Tarleton State’s winning team score was 876, 10 shots better than Dallas Baptist (Texas). West Texas A&M grabbed the final berth in the national tournament, placing third at 890.

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Ken MacLeod

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