AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Augusta State's Natalie Wille and Casey Kennedy both made significant moves up the leaderboard during Friday's second round of the NCAA East Regional at Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala.
Wille and Kennedy, who were paired with Princeton standout Kelly Shon for the second straight day, began their day on the back nine. The duo combined for six birdies on the day, with Kennedy posting a 2-under 70 to vault from 54th to 22nd place at 1-over 145 (75-70). Wille battled back from a slow start with three birdies of her own and carded a 1-over 73 to improve 21 spots up to 74th at 8-over 152 (79-73).
Second-ranked Alabama fired its second consecutive 11-under 277 to build a 14-shot advantage over No. 20 Tulane. Fifth-ranked Arkansas and No. 17 Oklahoma State are tied for third and No. 23 Texas is fifth. The Crimson Tide's Stephanie Meadow booked a 6-under 66 and grabbed a four-stroke lead over teammates Jennifer Kirby and Emma Talley.
Live scoring of all three NCAA Women's Regionals are available at www.golfstat.com<http://www.golfstat.com>. Complete, first-round results of the East Regional are available at www.golfstatresults.com//public/leaderboards/team/static/team_players_3639.html<http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/leaderboards/team/static/team_players_3639.html>.
Wille and Kennedy, who begin their final rounds Saturday morning at 8:50 a.m. (Eastern), earned at-large bids from the NCAA on Monday, April 29 when the field of 72 teams and 18 individuals were selected for the three regional sites.
A senior from Balsta, Sweden, Wille (pronounced VEE-luh) has registered one of the top seasons in the Lady Jaguars' 12-year history. Wille paced the squad in stroke average (74.0) and in nine events, she posted eight top-20 finishes and six top-10's and five top-5's. In five spring events, her worst finish was a tie for the 13th in the Lady Buckeye Invitational.
Kennedy, a junior from Cape May, N.J., ranked second on the squad in stroke average (74.68). She notched eight top-25 finishes in 10 events, including seven top 20's, three top 10's and two top-5's. She won medalist honors at the Purdue Mount Vintage Invitational and carded a career-best, 5-under 67 in opening round of UCF Challenge. In five spring events, her worst finish was a tie for 25th in the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate. Kennedy was ranked 83rd in the nation.
The three regionals are three-day, 54-hole events slated for Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11. The top eight teams and top two individuals not on an advancing team from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships, slated for May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
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