DECATUR — While the Charleston girls golf team was able to cross a major accomplishment off its list, the Trojans described Saturday as "bittersweet."

The Trojans came into the second day of the Class A state girls golf meet at Red Tail Run in second place as a team and Charleston's Lauren Chappell led the individual scoring and was going for a historic third title.

Chappell didn't have the day she wanted to have, and neither did most of her teammates. But despite some disappointment, the Trojans still shot well enough to finish in third place as a team with a two-day score of 695.

"Earlier I was crying because we weren't happy with our scores and then Lauren's dad says we got second or third and we all look at each other and said 'Oh my gosh' and then started crying again," Charleston senior golfer Morgan Sherwood said.

The tears of sorrow turned into tears of joy because the Trojans' goal at the beginning of the season was to finish in the top three. With the third-place finish, the Trojans come home with their first-ever team trophy.

"We did reach our goal and have improved quite a bit. We were in second place for quite a while, so in a way it's a little disappointing to fall out of second by four strokes," Charleston coach Deb Landsaw said. "Overall, they did what they came to do. All in all, I couldn't be happier and they did well and I am pleased for them. They deserve it and work hard."

Rochester won the team title with a 675 and Massac County edged Charleston by four strokes with a 691 for second place.

Chappell, who had a one-stroke lead coming into the day, shot a nine-over-par 81 for the day to take her out of contention as she tried to become the first girls golfer to win three individual titles.

The junior finished the two-day tournament with a 155, which was three strokes back of champion Maddie Hurt of Elmhurst Immaculate Conception, who beat Rochester's Morgan Savage in a two-hole playoff. Hurt birdied both playoff holes.

"It just wasn't my day," Chappell said. "I couldn't get anything going and couldn't really play how I like to play. It does make it positive that we have something to celebrate tonight. The team is really pumped and that's pretty fun. I am really proud of everyone."

Two double bogeys and a quadruple bogey on No. 8 hurt Chappell on the day.

"I feel bad for Lauren," Landsaw said. "Three-peating is tough and she didn't play today like she can. But it will be a growing period."

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It is the first time Chappell hasn't played well in three years. Last year, she made up a big difference in her final nine holes for her second title. This season she gave up the lead in the final 10 holes.

"I definitely think I had a good year. Shot a lot of rounds under par and good wins. Obviously, I am disappointed with how I did today, but it's not the turning point for me," Chappell said. "It's just another tournament in a line of tournaments, and probably a good one to lose. It's a good thing to learn from and to be able to learn to get through that and to have good holes even when you are doing bad."

Chappell missed a few key putts in the sectional and her putting was a little off on Saturday. The biggest was on hole No. 12 when she three-putted for a double bogey, which put her three strokes back of the lead.

"I didn't putt very well, and it's more of a feel thing for me and it's hard in the middle of the round to do something to fix it," Chappell said. "I just didn't have the confidence and that's the main thing."

Ally O'Dell finished as the Trojans No. 2 golfer for the tournament with a two-day score of 177. Morgan Sherwood shot a 180 and Paige Chappell shot a 188.

Haley Walker shot a 193 for the tournament, including a 93 on the second day, a seven-stroke improvement on the final day.

"I was pretty happy with my score," Walker said. "I know it wasn't going to be as good as it could be. I messed up a couple of holes, but I recovered and had a couple of good pars, so that's the good part of that."

Aislinn Parish finished with a 197.

"We all came in upset knowing we didn't play our best," Sherwood said. "But hearing we were top three was relieving, but a little bittersweet because we could've knocked off three or four strokes on all of our scores. We are just happy to be bringing home a trophy."

Another positive for the Trojans is they return all but one of their golfers next year. Sherwood is the only senior. Rochester graduates three golfers as does Massac County. The Trojans are the only team in the top seven to not lose at least three golfers to graduation, making Charleston the early favorites for the Class A title next season.

"Definitely that will be in our sights to be number one, and a lot of time is in between now and then," Landsaw said. "If I can get them to focus over the summer and get their game in shape before the end of the season, I think they've got the ability to do it."

Taylorville sophomore Miranda Coy had a pair of birdies on the front nine to finish with a 94 on the day, good enough for 50th. Lincoln senior Rachel Lockenour shot a 114 and finished 95th.

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Contact Rust at jrust@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6856.


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