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Eagles Complete Solid Round at Baytowne

savannah scott watches her wedge shot

SANDESTIN, Fla. - When the national rankings come out on Thursday, the D-III Women's list will likely show that 16 of the 18 teams at the Golfweek Fall Invitational are in the top-40. So after the Bridgewater women's golf team opened the event Sunday with their highest score of the season, they found themselves in a position (17th place) with little wiggle room.

"With yesterday's round in the books, we really hit the course today just trying to play golf like we are capable of playing," said head coach John Rogers. "And if that's not enough against the elite teams in the country, then there's nothing for us to do but keep learning and improving."

That's what the Eagles did on Monday. Even though Bridgewater made no headway against the field, each player improved in the second round, and the team dropped 22 strokes from their first-round total.

An emergent sophomore, Heather Donnelly continues to pace the Eagles for the second-straight tournament. Donnelly led the team with an 86 yesterday and tied for the low round on Monday, an 83 that concluded on the front-nine at Baytowne Golf Club in Sandestin, Florida. Donnelly played her final seven holes at just two strokes over par, thanks mainly to a series of scrambling par saves. "We are talking about a young lady who shot a round that is seven strokes better than her average last fall on possibly the hardest course she has played yet," said Rogers. "And then she went right to the driving range after the round to sharpen up for tomorrow. Heather is headed in a great direction."

Freshman Savannah Scott put in some extra practice after her first round yesterday and it paid off today when she shaved seven strokes from her first-round total and posted an 83. Working on some new swing techniques, Scott was just +2 through eleven holes. A combination of old tendencies and the Florida heat may have contributed to a few dropped shots late in the round, but Scott had already helped her team move forward.

Plagued in the first round yesterday and during the front nine today by large numbers, senior Jesse Bartley leveled out on the back nine, shooting 41 to post an 84. Entering this event inside the top-10 in scoring in the ODAC, Bartley found a pre-shot routine today that helped her improve by five strokes.

The remaining Eagles who made the trip to Florida, Hannah Woodson and Abby Papke, came in with matching 86s to complete the team score. This was an improvement of seven and eight strokes respectively from Sunday.

Woodson played the tougher back nine in 41 strokes with a birdie on the challenging par-4 16th hole. Papke tried to celebrate her birthday with a career round- needing par on her final hole for a new collegiate personal-best, Papke hit the penalty area in front of the green, and finished one shot off her score.

In total, the Eagles shot 336, a score more in line with their season average. "Right now we are out-gunned in this field," noted Rogers. "But it's a perfect way for our young players to learn- play a tough course, mix it up with great competition, deal with heat and bermuda grass, travel, homework, and everything else that makes college golf so tough. Our job is to go out one more time and see if we can take another step forward."

The Eagles conclude the Golfweek Invitational with a shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Live scoring is available at: http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=18678.