Playing twice at Oak Ridge this past week, the Milton girls golf team had strong results in two events. In the Milton Best Ball Invite Thursday, the Red Hawks finished in second with a round of 257 to Kettle Moraine’s 238, while on Monday, Milton took second in a dual against Stoughton 190 to 194.

Best Ball Invite

Hosting the Best Ball Invite, Milton’s three teams - each consisting of two players - shot similar scores throughout the day.

Claudia Seeman paired with Desirae Dorcey to shoot the best round for the Red Hawks, finishing with an 83. Even with a slow start - a bogey on one and a double bogey on two - the pair finished with a front nine score of 42. The pair improved their score on the back nine, shooting a 41 to finish 11 over par.

“The girls played well last Thursday, taking second place behind a good Kettle Moraine team at our home best ball invite,” head coach Ashton Stair said. “Claudia and Desi worked well together and led our team with an 83, while Taylor (Hakala) and Keely (Babcock) weren’t far behind. It was great to see Keely get a chance to prove herself with other varsity players.”

The Red Hawk’s lead pair of Hakala and Babcock finished just behind Seeman and Dorcey by a single stroke, shooting a round of 84. The pair also went 42 on the front nine with nearly identical results, despite a triple bogey to open the first hole. On the back nine, Hakala and Babcock finished with another 42 for 12 over par.

Milton’s third pair, Grace Weiss and Reagan Moisson weren’t far behind the rest, finishing the day with a round of 90, shooting 44 on the front nine and 46 on the back.

Stair said the different format allowed the team to ease up a bit more than they perhaps might during dual or tournament play.

“Best ball is a nice format because it’s different than our normal matches and tournaments,” she said. “It’s a more fun event that takes pressure off the girls to score individually well. If one girl has a tough hole, hopefully her teammate picked her up and vice versa. It was good to change it up a bit.”

Stoughton Dual

The Red Hawks returned to Oak Ridge Monday for a dual against Stoughton, falling to the Vikings by four strokes, 190 to 194.

“We struggled at home against Stoughton,” Stair said. “We learned that we need to fight through the tough matches. We need to not worry so much about the last shot and worry about what we can do better on the next shot.”

“Monday was a big learning curve for us as a team,” head coach Brady Farnsworth said. “We struggled but realized that the bad days are going to come and we can learn from our mistakes. A big thing for multiple of our girls is moving on from a bad shot or hole in general. Confidence is key, and we hope that the girls can take this frustrating day of golf and learn from it to grow as we move on in our season.”

Hakala led the Red Hawks with a round of 41, tying Stoughton’s Caylie Cotlowski for the best round of the day in the 9-hole event. Hakala finished with four pars and five bogeys on the day.

Seeman also finished under 50, shooting 44. Seeman started well, earning a birdy on the first hole before finishing off her 8-over par round.

Dorcey shot a 54, while Weiss was one stroke behind with a 55. Moisson rounded out the Red Hawks by shooting a 61.

“We always expect to be competitive against other conference opponents, which we were with Stoughton,” Stair said. “As it is with many losses in golf, a few strokes here and a few strokes there can make the difference, which was the case on Monday. We just needed to eliminate or limit some of the bigger numbers and keep the triple bogeys to doubles and so on. Monday was just a tough round for everybody. That’s the thing about golf - as much as it is individual, the team aspect really showed Monday as everybody struggled a bit and it showed in our team score.”

Stair and Farnsworth both agreed that the team needs to work on its consistency on a player basis.

“A lot of the girls have had moments that they struggle on the course, which is normal in golf, but we tend to get down on ourselves,” Farnsworth said. “If we can remain confident as a group and not let the bad holes define our round, we will significantly improve in the long run.”

“We need to improve on our overall consistency on an individual level, which will help the team aspect in the long run,” she said. “The girls each have a role on the team and when we take care of most of those roles, everything else will fall into place as we need it to. Our team is plenty talented, so if we just play solid throughout each round, we will be just fine.”

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