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California Baptist wins NAIA title in playoff

California Baptist needed the first playoff in NAIA Women’s National Championship history to capture its first national team title May 21 at Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn.

Nathalie Silva, the tournament’s defending individual champion, made a birdie on the final hole for the Lancers to force a playoff with Embry-Riddle (Fla.), which finished second with a four-day total of 1,252.

Then California Baptist registered three pars and a birdie – made by Sara Koizumi – in the sudden-death team playoff to wrap up the victory.

“It’s pretty incredible,” California Baptist head coach Lane Pace said. “The last four years we have had really good teams and good finishes, but we could never quite get over the hump. The girls worked really hard. This is a tough golf course and it’s a tough walk. We knew that if we just hung in there and kept playing our game we could come through. Nathalie [Silva] came through and made the birdie putt on the last hole to tie and then we had the playoff and we played it well.”

Kylie Barros of British Columbia won national medalist honors with a four-day total of 5-over 297, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish the feat.

Danielle Bellet of Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) placed second, four strokes behind Barros. Silva was third with a 10-under 302.

Shorter (Ga.) was third in the team standings with a 1,254 total while Oklahoma City took fourth with a 1,255 and Lubbock Christian (Texas) fifth with a 1,265.

Information from NAIA official site used in this report.

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