Morningside won six tournament titles and captured its first-ever GPAC championship in the 2017-18 women’s golf season.
Morningside College won six tournament championships, captured its first-ever Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) title and made its second appearance in the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship in the last three years in a banner 2017-18 women’s golf campaign.
The Mustangs won the two-day GPAC Spring Qualifier tournament by a 36-stroke margin over runner-up Briar Cliff University to make up a six-stroke deficit in the GPAC Fall Qualifier and vault past their city rival Chargers to win the GPAC Championship for an automatic berth in the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship. The GPAC title was the first in school history for the Mustangs after four prior runner-up finishes, including each of the previous two campaigns.
The GPAC Spring Qualifier was one of six tournament championships captured by the Mustangs during the 2017 fall and 2018 spring campaigns. The Mustangs’ tournament titles also included victories in the Mount Marty College Fall Invite, the Briar Cliff Lila Frommelt Fall Classic, the College of Saint Mary Fall Classic, the Bellevue University Fall Invite and the Peru State College Spring Invite.
The Mustangs carded their lowest score in school history en route to their victory in the Mount Marty Fall Invite on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton, S.D. The Mustangs fired an opening round 306 to shatter their previous best score of a 315 set on Sept. 22, 2016, at Landsmeer Golf Club in Orange City, Iowa. The Mustangs’ record breaking score was comprised of a 71 by Samantha Knight, a freshman from Onawa, Iowa; a 76 by Maria Zorrilla, a freshman from Coalhuila, Mexico; a 79 by Mikaela Livengood, a junior from Eagle Grove, Iowa; and an 80 by Alexandra Mankle, a junior from Milford, Iowa.
Knight carded the lowest individual score in Morningside women’s golf history with her one-under par 71 in the first round of the Mount Marty Fall Invite to break the Mustangs’ former 18-hole scoring record of a 73 by Sophie Peters in 2011.
Knight, the 2018 Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Women’s Golfer of the Year, enjoyed a standout freshman campaign by breaking the Mustangs’ single-season scoring record. Knight had an 18-hole scoring average of 79.0 in 22 competitive rounds to break the Mustangs’ former scoring average record of 80.0 by Peters in the 2011-12 season. Knight was the 2017-18 GPAC Individual Champion with a 308 in the combined scoring from the GPAC Fall and Spring Qualifier tourneys and was the individual medalist at the Mount Marty Fall Invite, Peru State Spring Invite and GPAC Spring Qualifier tournaments.
Zorrilla, the GPAC individual runner-up medalist, also topped the Mustangs’ previous scoring average record with a scoring norm of 79.9. Zorrilla was the individual medalist at the Briar Cliff Lila Frommelt Fall Classic and College of Saint Mary Fall Classic tournaments and led the Mustangs with a 77.8-stroke scoring average in their fall campaign. She carded the second lowest score in Morningside history with a second round 72 en route to her medalist showing at the Lila Frommelt Fall Classic at Two Rivers Golf Course in North Sioux City, S.D.
Myla Brown, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., ranked third on the Mustangs with an 84.0-stroke scoring average. The Mustangs had four other players post scoring averages in the 80s with scoring norms of 85.1 by Mankle, 85.2 by Livengood, 87.8 by Elizabeth Thies, a junior from Green Isle, Minn., and 88.6 by Nathalie Sanchez, a senior from Bellevue, Neb.