RiverHawks best 28-team field in Palm Valley Classic, Eagles are eighth

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Northeastern State rallied from a ten-stroke deficit to claim a huge comeback win at the 28-team Palm Valley Classic Saturday.  The RiverHawks shot the lowest round of the day with a 290, beating Cal State Monterey Bay by a pair of strokes on a 588 score.

Oklahoma Christian finished in eighth place and Cameron placed 11th.

Monterey Bay led the field by ten entering the day but shot a 15-over to open the door for the RiverHawks to take the win with a stellar round.

NSU shot a season-best 290 in the final round to earn its first victory of the season.

Kaylee Petersen paced the RiverHawks on the leaderboard and was tied for fifth overall with a 145 (72-73).  Aitana Hernandez was one stroke back, carding an even 72 in the final round, placing tied for eighth.

Thanks to a 1-under 71, Marybeth Bellnap climbed up 20 spots and was tied 15th with a 147 (76-71). Yasmin Hang was tied for 27th (76-74=150), and Nina Lee came in tied for 63rd (76-80=156).

Northeastern State will be idle until April 21-23, when they will play in the MIAA Championships.

Freshman Sofia Benavides Herberth recorded a top-15 individual finish to lead Oklahoma Christian to an eighth-place finish.

In the biggest tournament field – 28 teams and 146 players – that an OC women’s team ever had competed against, Benavides Herberth continued her recent strong play, recording two birdies en route to a 2-over-par 74, which put her at 147 in the two-day event.

OC slipped two spots from Friday in the team race, posting a team score of 303 to close at 603. The Eagles tied with No. 20-ranked Texas A&M-Commerce, just one shot behind No. 10 West Texas A&M.

The Eagles’ top finisher after Benavides Herberth was sophomore Wilma Merenmies, who had two birdies and tied for 21st at 149 after also shooting a final-round 74. Two shots further back at 151, after a final-round 77, was junior Alexandria Bennett, who recorded a team-high four birdies.

Freshman Sarah Sherrard (78) had three birdies and tied for 63rd at 156 and freshman Haley Blevins (80) tied for 103rd at 161. Playing as an individual, sophomore Alyssa Wilson (77) also finished at 161.

OC now will begin preparations for the Lone Star Conference Championship tournament, set for April 21-23 at Squaw Valley Golf Club’s Apache Links in Glen Rose, Texas.

Cameron shot 303 in the final round to finish in 11th place. The Aggies final round was led by Ashley Davis, who hit four birdies to shoot 71 and finish with a 147, good for a tie for 15th place individually. Davis finished two strokes back of her teammate Iona Roska, who carded a 75 in the final round to finish in a tie for fifth with a 145; Roska had 15 pars and three bogeys during her final round.

Additionally for CU, Ellie Fellers finished her scorecard with a 78 to give her a 159 and Emma Englefield shot 79 on Saturday to finish with a 168. Freshman Malerie Nyberg finished the event one back of Fellers after carding an 83 in the final round of play.


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Ken MacLeod

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