NCAA women's golf: No. 14 seed East Carolina weathers triple-bogey storm at Auburn regional

NCAA women's golf: No. 14 seed East Carolina weathers triple-bogey storm at Auburn regional

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NCAA women's golf: No. 14 seed East Carolina weathers triple-bogey storm at Auburn regional

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Things are starting to heat up in Alabama.

Duke shot 1-under during Tuesday’s second round at the NCAA women’s golf Auburn regional to take the lead entering Wednesday’s final round. Virginia was the low team on the day at 5-under thanks to rounds of 68 and 70 from Beth Lillie and Riley Smyth, respectively.

Florida State and Vanderbilt (+4), East Carolina (+10), Auburn and Tennessee (+13) round out the top six. After Wednesday’s final round, the top six teams will advance to the NCAA Championship later this month at the Blessings Golf Course in Fayetteville, Ark.

REGION SCORES: Auburn | Cle Elum | Norman | East Lansing

The best story from Saugahatchee Country Club has been the play of No. 14 seed East Carolina.

The Pirates spent some time atop the leaderboard early in round one before settling in with a 3-over 291 to tie for third place. After the second round, the school who made it to Opelika as an at-large bid sits in fifth place, three shots clear of sixth and in position to Fayetteville for the finals.

“We’ve hit the ball well,” said East Carolina coach Kevin Williams, who praised his team’s ball-striking ability. “One of our girls, Siranon Shoomee, had six birdies yesterday and another solid round today. Avoiding the big number here is key, and we just need to trust what we’ve been doing.”

The Pirates weren’t all able to avoid the big number on Tuesday, with both Dorthea Forbrigd and Kathryn Carson scoring triple bogey eight on the par 5 10th hole. Williams’ message to his players on bouncing back will be simple heading into the final round: “Put it behind you.”

LIVE BLOG: Everything you need to know from regional play

“The fact we weathered the storm with two triple bogeys is great,” said Williams. “It’s uncharacteristic of our team, but both hung in there.”

The Pirates best finish this year was fourth, which they did three times including a fourth-place showing at the American Conference Championship. That said, East Carolina had some momentum after beating several postseason teams in Puerto Rico earlier this spring.

MORE: Golfweek’s college golf coverage

“We talked about knowing we could play with those teams and all about believing in the work we have put in,” Williams said Monday. “Trust the plan and executing aggressively.”

Since the NCAA went to a four-team regional only twice has the 14th seed advanced: Campbell in 2015 and Michigan State in 2017.

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