Third round rise leads Ball State women’s golf to 4th place finish at MAC Championship

Cardinals encapsulate a season defined by steady progress in their three-day rise to fourth place at MAC Championship.

<p>Junior Sabrina Langerak swings a golf club Sep. 18 during the Brittany Kelly Classic at The Players Club. Zach Carter, DN.</p>

Junior Sabrina Langerak swings a golf club Sep. 18 during the Brittany Kelly Classic at The Players Club. Zach Carter, DN.

Ball State women’s golf has been building all season long. Starting the season with only three upperclassmen on a roster of nine, the Cardinals lacked experience. 

Throughout a season that saw a number of ups and downs, from placing 14th in their season opener to placing 1st at the Brittany Kelly Classic two weeks later, the Cardinals continued to climb. 

Closing out their season at the Pinnacle Golf Club in Grove City, Ohio, Ball State’s young squad had a lot to prove.

After finishing the opening round of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship in 7th place, just two strokes out of 4th place and 10 strokes away from a top-3 placement, the Cardinals kept climbing. 

Day two saw Ball State get off to a great start, but head coach Cameron Andry said that a number of “mental mistakes” turned what could’ve been a solid round into a bad round for the Cardinals. Despite eclipsing Western Michigan to take over 6th place, Andry noted that he has come to expect more from his team. 

“We had a tough conversation last night,” Andry said. “I told them, ‘Guys, I know we are on the inexperienced side of things, but at some point that can’t be an excuse anymore, and we have to start learning these lessons and applying the lessons that we have learned.’” 

Finishing the MAC Championships with the third-best round of the entire event, the Cardinals proved their coach was right, concluding the season with a fourth-place finish. 

“I think this week was proof to the players of what I had already been seeing this year, which is that we are making serious progress,” Andry said. “I think it’s difficult to know if that’s actually the case until you go out and prove it, and I think that’s what we did.”

Sunday - Round One

Setting the standard for the Cardinals, sophomore Sarah Gallagher concluded her opening round with a score of 73 (1-over-par) to finish in 3rd place individually. 

“Sarah never lets go of the rope; you know you are always getting 100% focus and effort from her, so it's not a surprise that she performs well in big events,” Andry said. “It was spectacular golf on a really challenging day. That’s who Sarah is; she’s not afraid of the big moment, and she will continue to be a key part of what we’re doing over the next couple of years.” 

As for Ball State’s team, the Cardinals finished day one in 7th place in the midst of a highly contested leaderboard that saw five teams separated by a total of four strokes. 

Gallagher’s efforts were aided by the scores of fellow Cardinals sophomore Jasmine Driscoll and senior Kiah Parrott. Driscoll and Parrott finished the day with scores of 80 (8-over-par) and 81 (9-over-par), respectively. 

Monday - Round Two 

The MAC Championship’s second day painted a similar but slightly more well-rounded picture for the Cardinals, who landed in 6th place following the second round.

Slipping to 5th place on the individual leaderboard, Gallagher led the way along with her fellow sophomore, Driscoll. Both finished with scores of 79 (7-over-par) apiece. 

Parrott, junior Sabrina Langerak and freshman JJ Gregston each finished one stroke behind at 80 (8-over-par). 

Tuesday - Round Three

Ball State saved their best for last as the Cardinals concluded their three-day trip to Grove City with their best round of the MAC Championships. 

Gallagher tied her team-best opening round score of 73 (1-over-par) to finish the competition in 4th place individually and was backed up by solid showings from each of her four teammates. 

Driscoll earned her best round of the event with a score of 75 (3-over-par) to finish 13th. Similarly, the Cardinals’ only senior, Parrott, finished with her best round of the competition, scoring a 76 (4-over-par) to finish in 17th. 

“We will miss Kiah,” Andry said. “Her name is all over our record books.” 

Ball State’s final two competitors, Langerak and Gregston, finished with scores of 83 (11-over-par) and 86 (14-over-par), respectively. 

Set to see the return of nearly its entire roster next season, Ball State will be setting its sights on taking the MAC Championship from the Golden Flashes. 

“Our goal is ultimately to dethrone Kent State and win the MAC Championship,” Andry said. “We proved that when we manage the golf course, we’ve got plenty of talent to keep up and compete with top teams.” 

Contact Nick Shelton with comments via email at or on X @NickS9954


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