Rockets Finish Third at MAC Championship; Chaiyapan Ties for First but Falls in Playoff
FISHERS, IN - Senior Piyathida Chaiyapan's bid to become the first Rocket to capture medalist honors at the Mid-American Conference Championship came up just short on Sunday after she lost in a playoff with Ball State's Jenna Hague. Toledo finished third as a team for its second top-three showing in its last three years at the conference championship.
Hague, who came from eight strokes back after carding a tournament-best three-under par 69 today, made the playoff possible with a hole-in-one on the 15th hole. Chaiyapan sank a 40-footer to birdie the 18th hole, but Hague matched her with a short birdie putt as well to force the playoff. On the first playoff hole Chaiyapan landed her second shot 35 feet from the hole, but Hague put her ball just six feet away. Chaiyapan's birdie putt was within five feet, while Hague sank her putt to secure the win.
Chaiyapan's performance this weekend helped earn her second-team All-MAC accolades.
"Piyathida played very well the entire tournament and her performance capped off a great senior year," Toledo Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. "Her leadership was a key part in the improvement our entire team displayed throughout the season. I'm hoping this type of performance will help inspire our young players to work even harder as we try to reach our goal of winning the MAC Championship."
UT entered the final round in second place - five strokes behind Kent State - but the Golden Flashes pulled away to win the conference title for the 14th straight year. KSU posted a 12-over par 300 today to finish the tourney at 44-over par 908, 16 strokes ahead of Ball State and 19 in front of the Rockets.
Junior Allison Schultz also enjoyed a strong tournament for the Rockets with a 10th-place finish at 19-over par 235 (76-80-79). She was followed by senior Georgina Hunt (74-87-79) and sophomore Kate Hoops tied for 19th place at 24-over par 240 with freshman Lauren Stephens finishing in 22nd place at 25-over par 241 (84-78-79).
1. Kent State 301-307-300=908 (+44); 2. Ball State 298-322-304=924 (+60); 3. Toledo 304-309-314=927 (+63); 4. Eastern Michigan 310-325-316=951 (+87); 5. Akron 316-318-327=961 (+97); 6. Western Michigan 321-324-328=973 (+109); 7. Ohio 334-329-330=993 (+129); T8. Northern Illinois 333-341-325=999 (+135); T8. Bowling Green 336-334-329=999 (+135)
T1. Jenna Hague (BSU) 74-80-69=223 (+7); T1. Piyathida Chaiyapan (UT) 74-72-77=223 (+7); 3. Mercedes Germino (KSU) 77-73-74=224 (+8); T4. Jennifer Ha (KSU) 77-80-72=229 (+13); T4. Erin Hawe (KSU) 75-74-80=229 (+13); T4. Shamira Marshall (KSU) 72-81-76=229 (+13)
T1. Piyathida Chaiyapan 74-72-77=223 (+7); 10. Allison Schultz 76-80-79=235 (+19); T19. Kate Hoops 80-79-81=240 (+24); T19. Georgina Hunt 74-87-79=240 (+24); 22. Lauren Stephens 84-78-79=241 (+25)
MAC Coach of the Year - Mike Morrow, Kent State
MAC Golfer of the Year - Mercedes Germino, Kent State
MAC Freshman of the Year - Jennifer Ha, Kent State
MAC Sportswoman of the Year - Megan Weaver, Ohio