NSU, SWOSU, UCO, OBU women end seasons at Central Regional

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ST. CHARLES, Mo. – It was a day of frustration for Oklahoma teams in the Central Regional, as Northeastern State, Southwestern Oklahoma State and UCO all came close but were denied spots in the Division II National Championship.

Northeastern State’s season came to an emotional halt as the RiverHawks missed the cut by four shots, finishing fifth at 905 (310-297-298).

On the final day, NSU worked themselves above the cut line on the back-nine but shot 6-over on the final two holes to drop back.

Lexi Armon carried her squad on the final day carding an even 72, earning a top-10 finish at ninth with a 223 (79-72-7).  Kelsey Lumpkin shot a 76 and was just behind Armon on the leader board in tenth (74-74-76=224).

Both golfers missed the cut as individuals for the National Championships by four strokes.

Ebba Moberg had the team’s second lowest score with a 73 on Wednesday. The NSU junior was tied for 19th overall with a 228 (80-75-73). Sumie Francois completed her freshman season at Northeastern State tied for 41st scoring a 236 (77-76-83) and Halie Wright was tied for 55th shooting a 241 (81-83-77).

Arkansas Tech, Augustana, and Lindenwood are teams who will advance the National Championship.  The three individuals to advance to the National Championship are: Helle Leed (Southern Arkansas), Shi Qing Ong (Missouri Western), and Olivia Sobaski (Central Missouri). Qing Ong and Sobaski advanced on a one-hole playoff.

SWOSU posted a final-round total of 310 strokes on Wednesday, which cost them three spots on the leaderboard and dipped the Lady Bulldogs to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships.

Despite the team finish, Elin Wahlin (T-5, 220) remained in contention for an individual spot in the NCAA Division II National Championships at the conclusion of 54 holes of competition. Wahlin was tied at +4 with Shi Qing Ong of Missouri Western and Olivia Sobaski of Central Missouri and went to a three-way playoff with two individual advancement qualifications available. For the second consecutive year, however, Wahlin was denied a spot in the National Championship field on the first hole of the playoff.

Chloe Thackeray (T-19, 228) tied Wahlin for low round honors after posting a 76 on Wednesday. Gloria Choi (T-24, 229) was one shot behind her after shooting a 79 – which was matched by both Emily Folsom (T-46, 238) and Tracy McGill (61, 248) in the final round of the tournament.

SWOSU concludes one of the most successful seasons in program history just shy of the NCAA Division II National Championships despite posting the third-best finish at the Central Regional.

For UCO, Marla Souvannasing ended her magnificent career with a team-low 74 to record yet another top-20 finish, but Central Oklahoma fell short at the NCAA Division II Central Regional that ended here Wednesday.

The Bronchos of head coach Michael Bond closed with a 302 to finish seventh in the 12-team tournament with a 918 total.  Augustana won the regional title at 890, while Lindenwood (900) and Arkansas Tech (902) grabbed the other two qualifying spots for the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships.

Souvannasing’s 74 led UCO, with Sydney Roberts adding a 75, Makena Mucciaccio a 76, Yuna Sato a 77 and J.T. Neuzil an 84.

Roberts ended up tied for 14th in the individual standings with a 227 total, while Souvannasing tied for 19th at 228.  It was the 44th top-20 finish in 47 career tournaments for Souvannasing, who played in every event during her sensational four-year stint with the Bronchos.

“I’m really, really proud of my team for the way they battled this week,” Bond said.  “We came up short, but it wasn’t for lack of effort I will promise you that.  Every one of them fought until the last hole.

“And I can’t say enough about Marla and what she has meant to this program the last four years. She’s an outstanding player and an even better young lady.  She always represented herself, our team and the university in a first-class manner and I’m grateful to have been her coach.”

Souvannasing got her final collegiate round off to a great start with birdies on the par-4 third and par-5 fifth to quickly get to two-under, but she ended the front nine with four straight bogeys to make the turn at two-over 37.

The senior star regrouped with a birdie on the par-4 10th and then rattled off five consecutive pars before making back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17.  But Souvannasing finished in style, birdieing the par-5 18th for a back-nine 37.

Roberts had four bogeys and one birdie in a front-nine 38.  She came back with an even-par 37, offsetting a pair of bogeys with birdies on the par-4 11th and par-5 15th.

Mucciaccio started strong, going out in one-under 35 with birdies on the par-4 third and par-4 ninth making up for one bogey.  But she struggled on the back with a double bogey and three bogeys in shooting 42.

Sato had six pars and three bogeys in an opening-nine 38.  She got back to one-over with birdies on the first two par-5s of the back nine but bogeyed No. 17 and triple bogeyed the par-5 18th for a closing 39.


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Ken MacLeod

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