Crystal River, Fla. - Sophomore Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) enjoyed her finest tournament as a member of the Stetson women's golf team, shooting 73-73-71 for a one over par 217 score and a runner-up finish at the University of Cincinnati Spring Invitational this weekend at the Plantation Golf Resort. Her performance led the Hatters (+38) to second place out of 19 teams in the standings.
Viera, whose previous career best score to par was a four over par 220 in the 2010 FIU Pat Bradley Invitational, bettered that mark by three strokes and recorded her first career top five finish. Her final round one under par 71 on Sunday was just one stroke off her career-low score.
Viera finished four strokes behind medalist Shelby Coyle of FIU, whose Panthers charged ahead to a 24-shot margin of victory over the runner-up Hatters. Stetson itself finished 21 strokes clear of third place Morehead State.
Reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week junior Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.) tied for seventh at seven over par after scores of 74, 76 and 73 while senior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) supplemented the team with 73-78-77 for a 13th place tie at 12 over par.
Sophomore Sammi Smith (Louisville, Ky.) improved her score each time around the circuit en route to an 84-79-76=239 (+23) finish while fellow sophomore Claudia Redinger (Durban, South Africa) rounded out the team contingent with scores of 79-79-83. Sophomore Ryan Ashburn (Largo, Fla.), competing as an individual, led all 10 non-team attached players in the 102-golfer field with rounds of 79-80-79=238 (+22).
Viera slotted in between Coyle and her FIU teammate Katie Mundy (+2) for the second place finish. Also competing this weekend behind FIU, Stetson and Morehead State were Xavier (+62), Mercer (+63), Akron (+65), Florida Southern (+68), Rutgers (+69), host Cincinnati (+72), Seton Hall (+72), Seminole State (+77), Ohio (+85), North Dakota State (+91), UAB (+92), FGCU (+94), Oakland (+97), Embry-Riddle (+109), Florida Atlantic (+118) and Tampa (+241).
Stetson will take on A-Sun foe Jacksonville in a dual match this Thursday at 1:30 pm at Venetian Bay Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. That course will also be the site of the upcoming A-Sun Championships as the Hatters prepare to chase down a fourth consecutive conference title.
FACEBOOK - Stetson Athletics (facebook.com/stetsonhatters); TWITTER - @StetsonSID (twitter.com/stetsonsid)