Dons Athletics have been quite busy this past week. Both the women’s and men’s golf teams participated in the West Coast Conference Championship Tournament, and the Don’s baseball squad had two series against University of San Diego and Saint Mary’s College.
The USF’s women’s golf tournament was held from April 20 to the 22 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington. The most productive Dons were second-year Riana Mission and Yvonne Shang. Mission ended day one tied atop the individual leaderboard stroking a 69 (-3) across her first 18 holes. Moving into day two, Mission continued to shine by tallying a 74, keeping her in the top three in the conference, and finished her second conference tournament in fourth overall shooting 1-under-215. She led the field with 40 total pars while also recording eight total birdies, and finished top ten in the WCC Championship two years in a row. Able to back Mission’s performance, Shang had her best outing of the year. She earned her first top 10 finish as a Don by shooting three over the 219 par, scoring a 71 on day one, 75 on day two, and 73 on day three across her three rounds. Shang also recorded the fourth-most birdies (10) overall in the field while also tallying 31 total pars.
The Dons finished fourth overall (19-over-883/296-294-293) at the 2023 West Coast Conference Championship.
The men’s team found similar success in their tournament, which took place from April 27 to 29, also at Gold Mountain Golf Club. San Francisco’s men’s team started the first day for the tournament with authority. USF shot five-under as a team across the first round. Notable performances include second-year Jackson Rothwell holding first place on an individual level with a 66 (-6). Graduate student Matthew Anderson and first-year Jakob Melin both shot an even par on the day (72) and tied for fourteenth. Day two of the WCC Championship went smoothly for the USF. By the end of the second round, the Dons were in second place (13-under-563). Third-year Ben Patridge climbed into the top 15 after a 70 in round two to tie for thirteenth at one-under. On the third and final day Anderson shot five-under (67) resulting in a tie for third, shooting eight under par with a 72 day one, 69 day two and a 67 day three. Melin, who finished four under par with a 72, 69, and 71 for each respective day, stayed consistent on the final day of play to remain tied for eighth. Partridge finished in tenth with two under par after shooting one-under (71) in his final round.
From some remarkable performances across the board, the Dons earned a second place spot in the tournament, just one stroke short of the first place BYU. Overall in the tournament, USF led the conference in par 3 scoring (+6), total pars (182) and eagles (4). Anderson, Partridge and first-year Renato Naula tied for the second most birdies with 38 each while Anderson led the tournament in par 5 scoring (-8) while also tying for first with two eagles.
While the WCC Golf Championship was just beginning, the USF baseball team engaged in an away series at the Torero’s field in San Diego. The first game of this series was a blowout, as USD dominated the Dons in a 17-3 defeat. The loss was given to the fourth-year right hander Jesse Barron, who had a tough start on the mound giving up 12 earned runs in 3.1 innings of work, and nine runs in just the first inning. While San Francisco pitching settled down more in the rest of the series, it was not enough for the Don’s to take a win in the series, after losing 5-6 and 7-9 in more competitive games. Third-year outfielder Will Asby had a day offensively to end the series with 3 hits and 4 RBI. After a tough sweep and a -17 run differential for the series, the Dons came back to the Hilltop to play Saint Mary’s.
USF lost the first game of the series 2-4. Graduate student Harris Willaims III was the main offensive producer for the Dons, with two hits, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. San Francisco was able to break a 6 game conference losing streak in the following game. A sacrifice fly from Saint Mary’s would tie the game 2-2 in the seventh, and the game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the twelfth. Third-year Mario Demara hit the walk-off double down the left field line to lead the Dons to the 3-2 extra innings victory. USF was able to secure the final game in an intense 7-6 win. Second-year Patrick Keighgran was the Don’s greatest contributor at the plate with 2 hits and 4 RBI as well as scoring twice. Harris Williams III confirmed the win for the Dons with a walkoff solo homer to right field.
The WCC Golf Championship marks the end of both the men and womens golf season. The Don’s men’s team is projected to make the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Tournament, which is set to take place May 26 through the 31 at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. USF’s baseball team has two regular season series left, and will start their away series against Santa Clara on Friday, May 5.