CHANDLER, Ariz. – Northern Arizona University's women's golf team completed day one of competition at the Big Sky Championships. The Lumberjacks shot 313 on the day, going into round two ranked fifth.
"My hope tomorrow is to come out and shoot a better score to cut into the deficit," said head coach Brad Bedortha. "We're going to need some help from the teams above us but at least we can do our part."
Kaitlen Parsons did not disappoint in the opening round of her final Big Sky tournament. The senior spearheaded NAU as she shot even par 72 on the day. Parsons is currently in second place individually behind Portland State's A Ram Choi (70).
"I was very impressed with Kaitlen," said head coach Brad Bedortha. "The course is definitely playing harder than previous years. For her to step up and shoot even par was great. Her competitiveness and execution really showed."
Following Parsons was Susana Mejia whose score of 79 was second-best for NAU on the day. The junior sits in a tie for 23rd place overall.
Also contributing for the Lumberjacks was Jacquie LeMarr (81) and Brittany McKee (81). The duo currently shares the 31st place rank after completing the first day of their Big Sky Championship debut. McKee struggled early as she went into the back-nine six over par. The junior was able to improve as she shot three over par in the final nine holes.
Finishing out the group was JoJo Sottile. The freshman, also making her Big Sky Championship debut, started out strong in the opening round but ran into some struggles on the back-nine. Sottile ended day one in a tie for 44th place after shooting an 84.
"We are going to need our other players to step up," Bedortha said. "It wasn't that we played horrible, I just expect more from them at this course."
NAU has shown that they are capable of bouncing back this season. To finish the fall season, NAU shot rounds of 313, 301 and 297 in succession at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational.
Currently leading the way in the team scores is top-seeded Portland State with an opening round of 299.