Tigers In Fourth at NCAA East Regional

Browns Summit, N.C.--Auburn is in fourth place after the opening round of the NCAA East Regional Women's Golf Tournament, five shots off the pace set by LSU and Cal.

The Tigers were led on Thursday by Maria Martinez and Abigale Schepperle, who shot even-par 72 as the Tigers finished at five-over-par 293.

In addition to LSU, the Tigers trail another team they defeated last month on the way to winning their second straight SEC title. Tennessee is one shot ahead of the Tigers at 292.

Martinez, the SEC Player of the Year and the team's only senior, had one bogey and one birdie on the front nine and did the same thing on the back nine. Schepperle, a sophomore from Hoover, turned at plus two with three bogeys on her scorecard, but played the back nine with seven pars and two birdies.

Jessica Lovell, a junior from Hoover, was the third scorer for the Tigers with a round of 72. The final scorer was Margaret Shirley, a sophomore from Roswell, Ga., who shot a 76 despite being one-under-par through 11 holes. However, she finished with a double-bogey and three bogeys to finish at four-over-par.

The Tigers didn't have to count the 78 posted by Nicole Hage.

Auburn is two strokes ahead of Alabama and three in front of Vandy, North Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina.

"We didn't have as strong of a round as we had hoped today, but we are still in pretty good position with two days remaining," Auburn coach Kim Evans said.

"Abigale Schepperle really came through in the end today at two-under on the back nine and, of course, Maria Martinez was solid as always.

"Tomorrow we need to come out and focus on just that round and take care of our business," Evans added.

The top eight finishers in the 21-team event will qualify for the national championship tournament May 23-26 in Columbus, Ohio.

NCAA East Regional

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