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Area golf teams head to Richmond

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

RICHMOND — If the 2018 Indiana High School Athletic Association girls golf sectional in Richmond has a Tri-Eastern Conference feel to it on Saturday, well, that’s completely understandable.

Nine teams will tee it up in the postseason opener, and more than half of them (5) hail from the TEC.

Cambridge City Lincoln, Centerville, Hagerstown, Northeastern and Union County will all put their putters to the test at The Elks golf course, each of them yearning for one of the top three team spots which will advance them to the regional.

Joining them will be teams from Connersville, Franklin County, New Castle and of course, the host Lady Red Devils.

Playing on one of its home courses, and boasting a talented line-up of Jacey Cornett, Karissa Owens, Brianna Fisher, Ashlynn Spurrier and Esther Etherington, Richmond is considered by many as the prohibitive favorite at the meet.

But Franklin County has had a productive season as well, winning eight of its 10 duals this season.

In addition, the Lady Wildcats are the defending champion, the team beating runner-up Richmond last year on this same course by nine strokes.

A repeat would be the optimum outcome, according to Lady Wildcat coach Marisa Mears.

“Our goal is always to go in and win the sectional,” she said. “I think we’ll definitely get out, and I would be happy with a second-place finish. But golf is a funny game, you really never know what is going to happen.”

Breaking out their clubs for FC will be a line-up that should include Maggie Brack, Abby Orschell, Gracie Graf, Camryn Brewer and Ashlan Hill.

Union County finished third last year, but the Lady Tigers from Hagerstown were breathing down their necks, only four strokes back.

Both should be right there again this year, battling for one of the top three spots.

Union County’s potential line-up for the meet will include Haylee King, Sarah Schwab, Emily Treadway, Olivia Curry and Morgan Ball.

Cambridge City Lincoln’s five headed to the sectional will come from a roster of Aubrey Austin, Savannah Dungan, Makala Hammons, Haylee Haskett, Keri Meal, Erin Rader, Alyssa Roark, Lindsey Schunk, Ashley Wampler and Alexis Worl.

Connersville will be in search of its first trip to the regional since winning the sectional in the fall of 2014. Since then, the Spartans have finished seventh, and fifth in the past two years.

Taking that next step toward a regional qualification will require a lot of concentration, according to head coach Chris Bell.

“Mentally, the girls need to really work on avoiding those wasted shots,” he said. “But if they go out and have great rounds, I believe in their chance of getting out of the sectional.”

Connersville’s line-up will include Sarah Griffin, Alexa Weber, Baylee Schneider, Autumn Friend and Kelli Caldwell.

Tee time is at 9 a.m.