Ball State women’s golf ended the Rio Verde Invitational in seventh place after its best round in Arizona Sunday. 

The Cardinals moved up four spots in the final round of tournament play Sunday to move into a seventh place tie with Northern Illinois, each finishing 55 over par. 

The first round of play Friday posed a huge challenge for Ball State due to the poor weather conditions. However, the Cardinals pulled it together Saturday and Sunday by posting substantially lower scores to round out the tournament. 

The Cardinals scored 314 Friday followed by a 306 and a 299 the next two days of competition. On Sunday, Ball State tied Seton Hall for the best score in the final round at 299. 

“Not only did we tie for the lowest round of the day, but we moved up several spots," head coach Katherine Mowat said. "That’s such a great way to go out of a tournament. To finish strong like that is exciting for everybody."

Leading the force for Ball State were sophomore Manon Tounalom (+12) and freshman Emily Knouff (+13). Senior Morgan Nadaline followed close behind as she shot 14 over par, a score that  placed her in the top 20 to help push her team into a better position.

Also contributing to Ball State’s combined team score were freshman Liz Kim (+18) and junior Sydney Anderson (+30), while freshmen Holly Anderson (+20) and Reece Malapit (+28) rounded out the roster competing as individuals.

This tournament made it clear that the heart of the Cardinals lies within the underclassmen’s abilities to post low scores. 

“Emily has her best tournament as a Cardinal," Mowat said. "She was so solid the whole way through and very comfortable playing the great golf that she was. It was great to see our younger players playing so solid."

Out of the 17 teams that competed in the Rio Verde Invitational, Ball State came back to prove its skills by finishing tied for seventh. Topping the podium were Seton Hall (+38), Akron (+39) and Arkansas State (+45).

Ball State will return to action in Florida for the Spring Break Shootout hosted by Florida Gulf Coast March 12-13.

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