COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mississippi State's young standouts, freshman Hannah Weathersby and sophomore Mallory Batson, hit their stride at The Club at Old Hawthorne on Tuesday, concluding play at the Johnnie Imes Invitational finishing ranked tied for fourth and ninth overall respectively and carrying the Lady Bulldogs to a fourth-place finish in the tournament. Weathersby finished competition four-over-par for the second consecutive tournament, while Batson was four strokes behind at eight-over-par.
MSU's fourth-place finish was the best outing for Mississippi State's Lady Golfers since a second-place finish in 2005-06 at the Lady Paladin Invitational, while Weathersby's score of 143 after two rounds ranks tied for sixth all-time at State. As a team, State's final round total of 302 ranked tied for 45th all-time while the team total of 609 after the first two rounds ranks tied for 30th all-time. MSU's tournament team total of 911 sits tied for 23rd best for State Lady Golfers.
Further supporting State's impressive outing were junior Gina Sharp and sophomore Erika Thornton, who finished tied for 27th and 29th overall with scores of 233 and 234 respectively. Junior Suzanne Stanley rounded out the Lady Bulldogs with a total score of 268.
"This is two tournaments in a row that the team was able to improve on their team scoring average each day of competition," MSU head coach Christi Sanders said. "Also, as a group we are rebounding a lot quicker after having a bad hole. In the individual competition, Hannah was able to pull out a good 4th place finish after enduring an unfortunate triple on number 15 today. Mallory is such a fighter on the golf course, and it showed in her hard-fought short game in the last two rounds."
The Southeastern Conference took two spots in the final top five, including winner Ole Miss who recorded a combined 900 for the team title. Tied for second was host Missouri and Arkansas-Little Rock, who both fell two shots back at 902. Mississippi State's Lady Golfers shot a 911 for fourth place, while Kansas wrapped up the top five with a 913. Missouri's Julia Potter dominated individual play throughout the tournament, and finished four strokes ahead of second place at seven under par to take individual honors.
Mississippi State's women golfers will continue the fall season of play in Greensboro, N.C., on October 12-14 at the UNCG-Starmount Fall Classic.