EFFINGHAM — Playing in her final sectional golf tournament on Monday, Nashville senior Shawn Rennegarbe did what she does best when a tournament is on the line.
Rennegarbe made two birdies in her final three holes to finish with a 1-under 71 as she claimed the individual title at the Class A Effingham Girls Golf Sectional at Effingham Country Club.
A University of Arkansas recruit, Rennegarbe made birdie on the 16th hole then got up-and-down for par on 17. Then after driving the short par 1th hole, Rennegarbe made a 6-foot birdie putt as she put the finishing touch on her third sectional title and the Hornettes team championship.
"I had a pretty good day. I got off to kind of a slow start then birdied three of my last four holes on the front nine to get on track,'' Rennegarbe said. "After that it was just try to keep it straight and not do anything too crazy.''
Led by Rennegarbe and senior teammates Natalie Johnson (82) and Madi May (85), Nashville finished with a team total of 340, five strokes better then Massac County (345) and 15 less then third place Eldorado (355).
All three teams advance to the Class A State Tournament which begins on Friday at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur.
Also earning trips to state were four local individuals who fired rounds of 89 or better on Monday.
Kendra Kessler of Sparta had an 81, while Allie Leingang of Columbia and Gabby David of Althoff shot rounds of 86. Kara Schnoeker of Okawville rounded out the qualifiers with an 87.
The victory for Nashville -- although not unexpected -- did furnish a few anxious moments for coach Doug Kell. Jessica Weihe was the Hornettes fourth score with a 102.
"Actually 340 is a pretty good score. With three or four holes left, the number I was looking at was 350 and thank goodness it wasn't. If it was we would have gotten beat today,'' Kell said. "I thought the course was playing tough today and with the exception of Shawn, I think everybody had four or five shots they let get away.
"We're going to definitely play better this week at the state tournament.''
Mount Carmel (356) and Althoff (365) rounded out the top five scores. Other local teams included Marquette (379), Waterloo (391), Civic Memorial (398) and Okawville 414.
While Nashville ended up with a title, Althoff will be represented by David at state, but the Crusaders had to be disappointed with their fifth place finish. The South Seven Conference champions also got rounds of 92 from Alaina Irwin, 93 from Jordan Lewis and a 94 from Madison Weilbacher.
But it wasn't enough.
"I'm very happy for Gabby (David). She went out and played very well today. But I'm very disappointed for the rest of the team,'' Althoff coach Tim Gehrs said. "We played well all year. It's been a great season. But for some reason when we hear sectional tournament, we get nervous and don't play our games.
"It's my fault because I didn't prepare them as well as I should . This one is on me.''
David played well enough to advance. David, the daughter of The Orchards teaching professional Dale David, used a solid short game to help her shoot 86.
"I played pretty well. I'm just sad we didn't play better as a team. We all could have played and are capable of playing better,'' David said. "My short game was on today. I hit some good approach shots and made a few putts.''
Leingang, a three-time Cahokia Conference champion, managed to advance to state despite battling nerves and the lightning fast Effingham Country Club greens.
"I didn't have to wait long after I finished to find out if I made it, but I was nervous on the course,'' Leingang said. "I thought I hit the ball well all day. I just couldn't get it in the hole.''