GODFREY – As its regular season comes down to its final week, the Alton girls’ golf team is looking to get hot.
“We have the chemistry,” Alton junior Morgan Bemis said. “We need to work on coming together, picking each other up if someone has a bad round and getting back at it and forgetting about the bad holes and playing on.”
The Redbirds won their second match in a row after beating the Granite City Warriors 196-227 on Wednesday at Rolling Hills Golf Course. Alton improved to 4-10 overall and 2-3 in Southwestern Conference play.
The Redbirds were coming off their first conference win of the season on Monday against Collinsville at Arlington Golf Course. Alton beat the Kahoks 171-175.
“The win the other night was so exciting,” Alton senior Annie Maynard said. “We were coming off a rough tournament (Illinois-Missouri River Challenge) the other week. It was just a really exciting thing for us. We shot our low, which was great. Coming back with another win is really awesome.”
The Redbirds have gone 4-4 after starting their season at 0-6. They got off to an 0-3 start in conference play before beating Collinsville on Monday.
Now, Alton has an opportunity to finish its conference season at the .500 mark. All the Redbirds need to do is beat Belleville West on Thursday at Rolling Hills.
“We would like to go back out and shoot amazing tomorrow,” Bemis said. “We all want to shoot lights out and have a great score.”
Bemis earned medalist honors in Wednesday’s match, shooting an 8-over-43 in the par-35 back nine. Bemis shot three pars.
“Honestly, I would be happy with that on a better putting day,” Bemis said. “My putting was not my best today. I definitely feel that I could have saved some strokes, but I’m still working on a new swing, so I’m getting used to that.”
Paige Wittman finished with a 49 with a par, Annie Maynard shot a 50, Addison Gregory had a 54 and Jenna Fleming shot a 55 for the Redbirds, g
The Warriors ended their dual-match season at 7-5 overall and 1-5 in Southwestern Conference play. They finished with their second consecutive winning season in dual-match play. Last year, Granite City was 10-3 to finish with its first winning season in program history.
Throughout the season, the Warriors had injuries and illnesses to several players. Seniors Phoenyx Derner and Ashley Richey suffered injuries and were out for two weeks before returning last week.
“It’s been hard with everyone gone and we lost three seniors (to graduation),” Granite City junior Megan Keel said. “We have a lot of new players, but they’re really doing well for just starting out.”
Keel, a two-time sectional qualifier, has been the Warriors’ top performer all season long, shooting under 50 in seven matches this season, including Wednesday. She led Granite City a 49 with two pars.
Derner, who injured her right wrist during the Marquette Blast-Off Classic last month, shot a 54.
Seniors Niya Wilson and Emma Sturdivant, both first-year players, shot a 59 and a 65, respectively. Samantha Marsala, another first-year player, finished with a 69.
The Warriors had just five players competing against Alton on Wednesday. Richey and Britnee Pattillo didn’t play because of illness.
Granite City stormed to a 6-0 start before losing five of its next six matches. They beat Belleville West last week for their only conference win.
The Warriors have one week left in their regular season. They will compete in the Southwestern Conference Tournament on Sept. 27 at Belk Park Golf Course, a scramble against Columbia and Belleville West on Sept. 28 at Annbriar Golf Course and the Gary Bair Tournament on Sept. 29 at Oak Brook Golf Club.
“We definitely have to practice more,” Derner said. “We’re going to play a practice round this weekend, so hopefully that will help. We just have to get our heads into the game and know that we can do it.”
Granite City is hosting this year’s SWC tournament.
“It will be fun,” Keel said. “I like playing at Belk Park and it will be fun to host it.”
Alton also will be competing in the SWC and Gary Bair tournaments next week.
The Warriors and Redbirds will play in the Class AA regional tournament on Oct. 5 at Oak Brook Golf Club.