CLE ELUM — Jennifer Yang and SooBin Kim each shot 2-under-par 70s to lead the Washington women’s golf team into second place after Thursday’s first round of the NCAA West Regional at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort.
Washington was at even-par 288, just four shots behind top-ranked USC in the 24-team field. The top eight teams after Saturday’s third round advance to the NCAA championships, May 20-23 in Tulsa, Okla.
Sixth-ranked Arizona State is one shot behind Washington in third. Texas A&M is another shot behind in fourth and Michigan State and Oklahoma are tied for fifth at 3 over, seven shots behind USC.
Gonzaga is tied for 23rd at 26 over.
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“It’s always good to get off to a good start,” said UW coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “We struggled a little bit down the stretch, but we are still in good position.”
USC’s Kyung Kim birdied five of her final six holes to take the individual lead at 6 under, one shot ahead of Noemi Jimenez of Arizona State and Marijosse Navarro of Texas A&M.
Charlotte Thomas and Kelli Bowers each shot 74 for UW. Ying Luo shot a 77 for the Huskies. Her score was not used, as each team throws out one score from its five players.
“We certainly felt a home-course advantage,” Mulflur said. “We have probably played here a dozen times this year, which is about 11 more than the rest of the teams. More than anything, we just feel comfortable. This is why you host.”
The second-round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m.
• Four Huskies turned in multi-hit games, and Kaitlyn Inglesby and Bryana Walker combined for seven strong innings, as the visiting Huskies defeated California, 4-3, in the first game of a three-game Pac-12 softball series.
Whitney Jones, Marki Creger-Zier, Hooch Fagaly and Victoria Hayward each got at least two hits for the Huskies (31-13, 11-9 Pac-12).
• Missouri-Kansas City (20-34) scored five runs in the second inning en route to an 8-5 rain-delayed victory over Seattle University in the WAC softball tournament at Logan Field.
The game was delayed nearly eight hours after being halted in the second inning.
The Redhawks (17-33) will play Bakersfield, which lost earlier Thursday 4-1 to Utah Valley, at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Jenny Hurst was 2 for 3 for Seattle U and drove in two runs.
From sports-information reports.