Independence sets single-round record at state golf tournament

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Independence Girls Golf

Independence’s girls’ golf team got off to a great start in its quest to win the Division II state golf tournament.

The Blue Devils, who finished second at state last year, shot a 320 to set a new Ohio High School Athletic Association record for a team score in a single round. Hathaway Brown set the Division II record with a 321 in 2010.

“I’m very excited about the way the girls played today,” said Independence coach Karl Schuld. “They went out and played with confidence.”

Following Thursday’s practice round at Ohio State University’s Gray Course, Schuld had an idea the girls were comfortable on the course and confident in their ability to maneuver their way from tee to green.

Still, he didn’t expect a new state record to follow.

“I felt very good after the practice round,” Schuld said. “I told them if they played that way, with that type of confidence, they’d be state champions. I thought they went out and didn’t get distracted and they didn’t let the bad holes bother them. They didn’t let a bad hole double and triple and quadruple up. There’s no doubt about it, all the experience these girls have gained over the last three and four years is paying off. I’m very happy with where we’re at and I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.”

Heading into Saturday’s second round, the Blue Devils are in first place, 12 strokes ahead of second place Lima Central Catholic (332). Shelby finished the day in third place with 335 strokes. Several others are within striking distance.

Independence senior Sophia Trombetta finished the day in first place with a 68.

Trombetta tied the Division II state record for an individual single round score at the state tournament. Leavittsburg LaBrae’s Haylee Harford and Shelby’s Alexis Jones both shot 68 on the first day of the 2014 state tournament. Harford went on to win the state title with 141 strokes while Jones finished second with 142.

Eaton’s Sarah Willis and Kansas Lakota’s Kyleigh Dull are tied for second with a 72. St. Mary’s Memorial’s Jill Schmitmeyer finished the day fourth with a 73 and Lima Central Catholic’s Mary Kelly Mulcahy and Laurel’s Jami Morris tied for fifth with a 74.

Senior Lyndsay Blum finished the first day tied for seventh place with a career-low 75 for Independence.

“Lyndsay had it going all day long,” Schuld said. “She had one double (bogey), but it was a good double. She was in a tough situation on a par 3 but made a tough putt to save a double bogey. She birdied the first hole and birdied the last hole and she hit it squarely all day long. She said she never felt so good about a round of golf. From the tee to the green, she was consistent all day.”

Seniors Maddie Harper and Madeline Mindzora carded an 88 and an 89, respectively, for the Blue Devils while freshman Morgan Pascarella shot a career-best 97 in her first state tournament experience.

“Morgan was hilarious on the first hole,” Schuld said. “She was so nervous; it looked like she was going to throw up. She got up there and drilled the ball right down the middle. She’s so athletic; it’s insane. For her to pick up the clubs for the first time two months ago and to shoot a 97 at state, it’s incredible. She was consistent all day. She had a rough couple of holes on the back nine but pulled it all together and had a solid round.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.