Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
Mortellaro moves into first
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/24/2012
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MESA, Ariz. - University of Idaho senior Kayla Mortellaro birdied one par-3, one par-4 and one par-5 en route to a one-under 71 and sole possession of the lead with one round to play in the Western Athletic Conference Championship Golf Tournament at Longbow Golf Club.

Mortellaro, who was one stroke off the pace heading into Tuesday’s second round, shrugged off two bogeys and ignored triple-digit heat in taking a three-stroke lead into Wednesday’s final round. For the tournament, she is at 141 with San Jose State’s Madeleine Ziegert and Kathleen Rojas at even-par 144.

Her determined efforts were matching by her teammates – all of whom improved on their opening-round scores as the Vandals moved into second behind reigning champion San Jose State. SJSU is at six-over 582, while the Vandals are at 596 with Fresno State at 602, Hawai`i at 606, New Mexico State at 612 and Nevada at 631.

“Today we played much more steady golf,” coach Lisa Johnson said. “We got the putter going a little earlier in the round. We had fewer three putts.”

Yet, she said, it could have been better.

“We played better today. We scored better today,” Johnson said, “but we still left a lot of makeable putts out there. We need to get hot on the greens.”

Senior Teo Poplawski birdied three of her final four holes to finish with a 74, which gives her a 149 and a tie for 11th. Freshmen Leilanie Kim and Kaitlyn Oster both had good ball-striking rounds and finished with 75s. For Kim, who had the misfortune of a lost ball on the 17th hole, it meant a total 152 and a tie for 16th, while Oster is at 157 and 20th. Sophomore Rachel Choi’s 77 gave her a 156 and 19th in the tournament.

Live scoring is available by clicking here.

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