MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

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April 24, 2014

NSU’s Price a winner at MIAA tournament; both teams take second

Northeastern State finished second as a team, but a pair of RiverHawk freshmen rule the roost individually at the MIAA golf championships.

Baylee Price and Sofia Castiello were 1-2 in the standings at the close of the tourney on Wednesday at the par-72, 7,092-yard Alvamar Golf Club championship course in Lawrence, Kan. Price shot a final-round 77 and at 17-over 233, became the fifth RiverHawk in school history to capture a conference title and the first since Courtney Epps in 2008. The round matched her tournament low from Tuesday’s round.

Castiello shot a 78 and landed three strokes behind her teammate at 236. Both were named to the MIAA All-tournament team. UCO, led by Taylor Neidy’s 237, filled out the top five.

Price, who is out of Broken Arrow High, took charge early. She ran off eight straight pars on the front nine and had a four shot lead at the turn, even after a bogey at 9. That was the cushion she had when she finished with three bogeys.

“It was nerve-wracking. Coming in two shots back I knew I had a chance,” Price said. “I hit more greens than yesterday and up and down I was consistent too. It was the best hitting day I’ve had by far this season.”

The RiverHawks with a 320 finished the three-round event at 109-over-par 973. They found themselves within four strokes of Central Oklahoma midway through the final round, but the No. 13-ranked Bronchos shot 317 to close strong and win the event at 94-over 958. NSU now has six runner-up finishes at conference championship events since joining the NCAA in 1996-97, including four in the Lone Star Conference (2003, 2005, 2008-09) and two in the MIAA (2013-14).

Arizona Chin was eighth at 33-over 249. Brooke Allison tied her career-low of 81 to finish in 15th at 47-over 263 and Kayla Schroeder tied for 18th at 50-over 266.

Northwest Missouri State finished third at 1,047, Lindenwood was fourth at 1,058 and Central Missouriclaimed fifth at 1,069.

Also finishing second was the NSU men’s team, which shot a 1-over 289, its lowest round of the tournament and the low team score of the day. The three-round 19-over 883 trailed Central Missouri at 3-over 867. UCM shot a 296 on Wednesday.

Central Oklahoma’s 297 went low in the final round to jump four positions and tie for third with Lincoln  at 902.

NSU’s Brad Hager shot 67 to card the low-round of the tournament Wednesday. That vaulted him into  fifth at 3-over 219. He was named to the All-MIAA team. Cy Moritz of UCM shot 73 to finish at 4-under 212, five better than UCM’s Travis Mays and Southwest Baptist’s Clayton Moles.

Josh Strimple and Tate Williamson gave the RiverHawks two more top 10 finishers. Strimple shot 75 and Willliamson 73 as both finished in a tie for ninth at 6-over 222.

The men will now await a bid into the NCAA Central/Midwest Super Regional which will be released Friday in a selection show at NCAA.com. The next set of women’s regional rankings will be released Thursday and the NCAA Central Regional selection show is Monday.

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