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WOMEN'S GOLF IN THE LEAD, BABIC TIED FOR TOP AFTER FIRST DAY OF BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP

WOMEN'S GOLF IN THE LEAD, BABIC TIED FOR TOP AFTER FIRST DAY OF BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — The Sacramento State women's golf team played its final nine holes at 2-under par and sits in first place following the first round of the Big Sky Championship on Friday at Boulder Creek Golf Club. The Hornets totaled a 2-over par score of 290 and lead Eastern Washington by three strokes. The remainder of the top five is comprised of Portland State and Montana State which are tied for third at 294 and Idaho at 296.

Sofie Babic paced Sacramento State with a 3-under par round of 69 and owns a share of the individual lead along with Northern Colorado's Beah Cruz. Babic got off to a quick start with birdies on the par-5 second and par-4 third holes. She made the turn at 2-under following a bogey on the par-4 sixth and a birdie on the par-4 ninth. The junior then moved to 1-under with a bogey on the 10th but played her final eight holes at 2-under with birdies on the par-5  13th and 16th. Her score is tied for the second best of Babic's career and left her just one stroke off her best of 68.

Freshman Sydney Smith ranked second on the team and is tied for 11th overall at 73. Smith birdied the first hole before finding herself at 1-over at the midway point of her round. She dropped back into the red with birdies on the par-3 12th and par-5 13th. A bogey on No. 14 temporarily placed her back at even before she birdied the par-5 16th. Standing at 1-under par, Smith bogeyed her final two holes to finish at 1-over. The round of 73 is tied for her career best.

Sacramento State also counted a pair of 74s from Julia Becker and Corinne Viden. Becker had eight pars and a bogey over the first nine holes. She then jumped to 4-over following a double bogey on the par-4 10th and a bogey on No. 11. The senior, who was a first team all-Big Sky honoree, rallied over her final seven holes with the help of back-to-back birdies on the par-5 13th and par-4 14th.

Viden, who was also a first team all-Big Sky selection, opened play with a birdie on the first hole but followed by five bogeys over the next eight holes. Viden returned to form on the back side of the course which she played at 2-under. The sophomore birdied Nos. 11-13 to drop to 1-over par. A bogey on the par-4 15th took her back to 2-over and she ended the round with a birdie on No. 17 and a bogey on No. 18.

Nishtha Madan completed the lineup with a 76 which ties her for 26th place. Madan was 3-over through her first six holes and made the turn at 2-over with a birdie on the par-3 eighth. Three bogeys over her first seven holes on the back side of the course moved her to 5-over before a birdie on the par-3 17th.

Sacramento State will be paired with Eastern Washington in twosomes during the second round. The teams will get underway from the first tee beginning at 7 a.m. The tournament will conclude with the third round on Sunday. The winner of the Big Sky Championship will earn an automatic berth to an NCAA regional.

BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIP
Boulder City, Nev. | Boulder Creek GC
Par 72 | 6,395 Yards

TEAM STANDINGS
1. SACRAMENTO STATE 290
2. Eastern Washington 293
T3. Portland State 294
T3. Montana State 294
5. Idaho 296
T6. Northern Arizona 299
T6. Northern Colorado 299
8. Southern Utah 305
9. Montana 307
10. Weber State 309
11. Idaho State 317

INDIVIDUAL TOP FIVE
T1. Sofie Babic, SAC, 69
T1. Beah Cruz, UNC, 69
T3. Pluem Yongyuan, SUU, 70
T3. Madalyn Ardueser, EWU, 70
T3. Clare Dittemore, MSU, 70

SACRAMENTO STATE SCORES
T1. Sofie Babic 69
T11. Sydney Smith 73
T17. Julia Becker 74
T17. Corinne Viden 74
T26. Nishtha Madan 76