By Murray Evans
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian improved considerably Tuesday in the second round of the National Christian College Athletic Association Invitational, but the Lady Eagles weren’t able to make up any ground in the team race.
On a grey, sometimes drizzly day on The Hombre Golf Club’s Bad and Good courses, OC posted a team score of 302 – 11 shots better than in the first round – but moved up only one spot, to third place, and had its hopes of winning a national title ended.
The Lady Eagles will enter the final round 19 shots behind co-leaders Dallas Baptist (Texas) and Lee (Tenn.) and two shots ahead of Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.).
OC will have a pair of players in running for NCCAA All-America honors, which go to the top eight finishers (plus ties). Sophomore Audrey Meisch fired an even-par 72 on the 5,616-yard layout and is in third place at 3-over 147, 10 shots behind Courtney Shelton of Lee.
Meisch, who birdied three of her final seven holes, will enter Wednesday one shot behind second-place Macie Seeker of Dallas Baptist and tied with Bernadette Little of Lee and Cassidy Scantland of Campbellsville (Ky.).
“I’m excited about the way the girls played today,” OC coach Greg Lynn said. “Audrey hit the ball fantastic. She made a few putts but she hit the ball better than she actually scored.
“You’re going to see Audrey up there (on the leaderboard) a lot. She just keeps getting better and better. I’m really excited about her play. She hits the ball so straight. She’s getting longer and her putting is going to improve.”
OC junior Anna Arrese Cortadellas also was on the leaderboard. She shot a 77 to leave her at 151, tied for eighth. She is seeking what would be her 21st top-10 finish in as many tournaments.
The Lady Eagles’ three freshmen, each of which struggled in her first competitive round at The Hombre on Monday, all rebounded on Tuesday. India Matthews improved by eight shots and shot a 75 to stand at 158, tied for 23rd in the 51-woman field.
Allison Sell was tied for 33rd at 161 after shooting an 80, while Dana Todd improved six shots with a 78 and was at 162, tied for 36th. Todd was 7-over halfway through her round but was 1-under on her back nine with birdies on No. 10 and No. 14, both par-4 holes.
“I see nothing but positives going forward,” Lynn said.
With the team title out of reach, Lynn said he wants the Lady Eagles to focus Wednesday on “self-improvement … to go out there and enjoy the day, enjoy the national experience and represent Oklahoma Christian in a positive way.”