The Highland High School girls golf team continued its ascent by shooting a team season-low score en route to earning second place in a triangle match Wednesday at Arlington Greens Golf Course.
The Lady Bulldogs finished with a four-player team score of 188, which was 18 strokes better than their previous season-low score of 206 shot two days earlier at their home course at Highland Country Club.
Highland’s score wound up in the middle of host Collinsville’s winning team score of 173 and Mississippi Valley Conference rival Civic Memorial’s 191.
“We shot a season-low 188 which beat our goal of 200,” said Highland coach Gina Hirsch. “Arlington Greens is a very friendly course for the girls. It is pretty short and flat so we were able to capitalize on that tonight. We took a big step towards getting better. All the girls are working hard. We are picking up less on the double-par rule. We just have to keep spending more time around the greens and we will get there.”
Along with winning the match, Collinsville also featured the match medalist in Addison Wickiser, who carded a 3-over-par 39.
Highland senior left-hander Allison Young and sophomore Rece Portell matched one another with identical rounds of 6-over 42, which is a new team season-low round for the Lady Bulldogs.
Joining Young and Portell with rounds of 42 were Collinsville’s Abby Burns and CM’s Sara Gwillim and Carmen Phillips.
Both Young and Portell had a rough opening hole but both settled down to play well and shoot quality rounds.
“Allison (Young) led the team with four pars,” Hirsch said. “She recovered nicely from her first hole and hit the ball really well. She hit the ball better tonight than I have seen her this year. She has put in some extra time with dad and it is starting to pay off. I got to watch her last two holes and I was really impressed with her swing.”
Portell has steadily improved on a daily basis.
“Rece (Portell) is hitting the ball really long off the tee and her approach shots are much better,” Hirsch said. “I told her that if she beat her score by one shot, they could take carts at practice. Guess I lost that bet.”
Senior Cailtin Lammers shot a round of 46 to continue to make strides with her game since joining the team two days before the season started.
“Caitlin had a breakout night tonight and recorded her first birdie ever on the par-3 eighth hole,” Hirsch said. “It is so fun as the golf coach to see those big smiles when they accomplish firsts.”
Rounding out Highland’s four scorers was sophomore Kayla Davis with a 58.