East golfers defeat Panthers

NORTH VERNON — The Columbus East girls golf team experienced a slight dip in its overall team score, but it was still good enough for a 199-218 victory against host Jennings County on Tuesday night at St. Annes Golf Course.

“A 199 is different, but we went through the first week of school and our third road match,” East coach Troy Buntin said. “It was hot and humid, and we never played here before. It is still a learning experience for us and a work in progress.”

East junior Autumn Fateley had her ups and downs during her round but finished with a par on her final hole, the par-5 ninth, to finish with a 48 and tie with teammate Lily Shelp for medalist honors.

Natalie Ryan scored a 10 on her first hole, No. 9. She battled back with a par on the fourth to finish with a 50.

Ryan put in a lot of work during the offseason.

“I’ve been practicing with (Otter Creek teaching pro) Jeff Smith during the winter and spring,” Ryan said. “I also played in a lot of summer tournaments and just getting a lot of experience in. Today, my short game really helped me a lot. I hit a lot of good chips.”

Ryan’s performance has caught the attention of Buntin.

“It was tough for her early, and going bust on her first tee shot and getting a 10,” he said. “It would deflate a lot of people, but to rebound and put up eight good holes was good. She has been stuck at 50 all season, but she will break into the 40s very soon.”

Zoe Rangel carded a 53 for the Olympians. Ellie Buntin and Morgan Harrison each shot 55.

Marina Sigmund led the Panthers with a 52. Allie Clark carded a 53, Lauren Mull added a 56, Peyton Whitehead shot 57, Sydney Campbell had a 61 and Rachel Greene finished with a 63.

“It was a lot better than (Monday),” Jennings coach Kellie Barriger said, “but our short game was not very good. We had a lot of three-putts, so that is one thing I need to work with them on the rest of the week. It’s all about getting out there and adjusting and calming down and focusing on what you need to do.”