Feb. 18, 2002

Corpus Christi, Texas – The Notre Dame women’s golf team opened the spring schedule where it finished the fall at the Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Irish closed the fall schedule with a fourth-place finish at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Fall Classic in November.

On Monday, the Irish were back in Texas and after 36 holes find themselves in seventh place after shooting rounds of 332 and 336 at the 5,796-yard, par 72 Kings Crossing Golf and Country Club. Notre Dame trails the host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi team by 24 strokes going into Tuesday’s final round of play.

A&M-CC shot opening rounds of 324-320 for a 36-hole total of 644 and has a 12-stroke lead over the University of Texas El-Paso (329-327-656). McLennan Community College (323-334-657) and the University of Kansas (338-319-657) are tied for third with Kansas State (325-334-659) rounding out the top five schools.

The Irish, who were sixth after the first round, find themselves a stroke behind sixth-place Oral Roberts and eight behind fifth-place Kansas State.

Notre Dame’s top finishers after 36 holes were Karen Lotta (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Rebecca Rogers (Alpharetta, Ga.) who tied for 14th with 164 totals. Lotta had rounds of 84 and 80 while Rogers fired a pair of 82’s for her 164 total. Rogers played as an individual entrant so her score did not figure into the Irish team score.

That puts them eight strokes behind tournament leader Melissa Newman-Gillespie of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who fired a 12-over par 156 (80-76). Newman Gillespie has a two-stroke lead on Ashlie Simmons of McLennan CC who has a 36-hole total of 158 (77-81). Lotta tied for third, the best finish of her Notre Dame career, in the Fall Invitational.

Following Lotta and Rogers in a tie for 22nd was sophomore Shannon Byrne (Arlington Heights, Ill.) who shot a 166 (84-82) to go into the final round 10 strokes behind the tournament leader.

Terri Taibl (Jr., Elm Grove, Wis.) and Casey Rotella (Fr., Keswick, Va.) tied for 31st with 24-over par totals of 168. Taibl had rounds of 81 and 87 while Rotella, playing as an individual entrant, shot 85-83 for 36 holes.

Senior Kristin McMurtrie (Calgary, Alb.) leads a group of four tied for 38th with a 170 (83-87) and Lauren Fuchs (Sr., Louisville, Ky.) rounded out the Notre Dame contingent in 56th after rounds of 89 and 88 for a 176.

The final round of play will be played on Tuesday morning beginning at 7:30 a.m. (CST).

TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Texas A&M Corpus Christi 324-320-644, 2. Texas El-Paso 329-327-656, 3. McLennan CC 323-334-657, Kansas 338-319-657, 5. Kansas State 325-334-659, 6. Oral Roberts 326-341-667, 7. Notre Dame 332-336-668, 8. McNeese State 344-327-671, 9. Lamar 337-335-672, 10. Xavier 340-333-673, 11. S.W. Texas State 331-351-682, 12. Northeastern Oklahoma State 346-339-685, 13. Texas-Pan American 356-347-703.

TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 71): 1. M. Newman-Gillespie (Texas A&M-CC) 80-76-156, 2. Ashlie Simmons (McLennan CC) 77-81-158, 3. Heidi Brown (Oral Roberts) 76-83-159, 4. Christine Boucher (Kansas State) 80-80-160, Leslie Hawley (UTEP) 82-78-160, 6. Heather McRae (McLennan CC) 79-82-161, Jill McDonald (Kansas) 84-77-161, 8. Abby Fowler (Xavier) 84-78-162, Shelbie Allison (NE Okla. State) 79-83-162, Edie Murdoch (Kansas State) 83-79-162, Amy Willmon (UTEP) 80-82-162.

NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUALS (of 71): t14. Karen Lotta 84-80-164, t14. Rebecca Rogers 82-82-164, 22. Shannon Byrne 84-82-166, t31. Terri Taibl 81-87-168, Casey Rotella 85-83-168, t38. Kristin McMurtie 83-87-190, 56. Lauren Fuchs 89-88-177.