Third, the charm

Ferris finishes third at the conference championships

The Bulldogs finished third at the rain-shortened GLIAC Championships at Katke Golf Course on Saturday.

The Bulldogs finished with a 628 (+52) team score, behind Grand Valley State and Ashland. The Lakers finished with 594 total strokes to claim its second consecutive GLIAC Championship. Seven teams were represented at the event, but Lake Superior State had only two competitors and did not qualify for a team score. Ferris matched its performance from a season ago as the Bulldogs finished third last year as well.

For the second consecutive week, Ferris finished one spot ahead of the Findlay Oilers in a tournament, this time by 13 shots. The Bulldogs remain ranked ninth in the East Region, one spot ahead of Findlay for the final spot in the NCAA-II Super Regional One tournament.

Ferris sophomore Erin Fuchik led the team with a two-round total of 152 (+5) and a fifth-place finish. Fuchik said the two-round score was the lowest of her career.

Sophomore Bryce Hetchler and freshman Ashley Swanson tied for ninth place with 156 strokes, while sophomore Blaize Baumgartner finished in an 18th-place tie with a 165.

Fuchik said coach Mignano has had the team practice in all weather conditions to be prepared for anything on the golf course.

“Our golf outcome was definitely produced through the hard practice we have been putting in this whole season,” said Fuchik.

Grand Valley State, the East Region’s top team, had the top three individual finishers including tournament champion Ashley Smith.

The third-place finish marked the second consecutive top-three finish as the Bulldogs won the Tiffin Kyle Ryman Invitational on April 19. Ferris has notched five top-six finishes during the 2009-10 season.

All there is left to do is wait to see whether or not the Bulldogs will receive a bid to the NCAA-II Super Regional One tournament, which begins May 2 in Springfield, Mo. Ferris finished second at the East Regional last season to advance to the NCAA-II Championships, where the team finished in a sixth-place tie.

“All that matters is what you do when you are there,” said Fuchik. “You have to be able to play in the present and perform under that pressure.” n