Sophomore Lee-Anne Pace closed out a dominant week of golf and a dominant spring season as the Murray State women's golf team led from start-to-finish in winning its second-straight league title at the 2003 Ohio Valley Conference Championships at the Country Club of Paducah, Ky.
Pace, from Cape Town, South Africa, shot a 77 - 73 - 74 = 224 to win her sixth individual title in seven events this spring and earn the 2003 OVC Women's Player of the Year honor. She finished nine shots ahead MSU junior Nikki Orazine (Paducah, Ky.), who was second overall at 79 - 77 - 77 = 233. The Lady Racers swept the top three positions as senior Stephanie Baskey (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) took third at 76 - 80 - 78 = 234.
'For us to win the team title and for me to win the individual title is an awesome feeling,' Pace said. 'We've had such a great year and to end it with such a good showing by our whole team is really, really special.'
MSU finished the 54-hole event at 316 - 309 - 307 = 932, 39 shots better than second-place Eastern Illinois at 971. The Lady Racers' final round 307 and second round 309 were the low rounds of the tournament, while EIU's second-round 312 was the only score by an opposing team to better MSU's first day score of 316.
'I'm very happy for our players because they've worked so hard this year, and to see them achieve this goal is very rewarding,' said 10th-year MSU women's golf head coach Velvet Milkman, who was named OVC Women's Coach of the Year for the fifth time. 'I'm also really happy for our two seniors (Baskey and Kelly Wren) because they've been such an important part of our program, and I'm glad they're able to go out on top.
'To win the team title and the individual title is a very special thing. Lee-Anne has had such a great spring, and to top it off by being named OVC Player of the Year is very appropriate.'
MSU sophomore Santie Koch finished tied for seventh at 84 - 79 - 81 = 244, while Wren finished tied for 17th at 93 - 82 - 78 = 253.
Even more impressive about the Lady Racers second-straight OVC title, their fifth 10 years, is the fact they did it despite the loss of 2002 OVC Player of the Year Cuyler Hedley, who missed the entire spring of her junior season with a broken wrist.
'To defend our title and to win the way we did this year shows just how strong this program is right now,' Milkman said. 'Our depth -- the fact that we have five players who can shoot good numbers -- is the main reason why we've been able to win this title.'