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Hinton fires 39, paces North in tri-match

Hinton fires 39, paces North in tri-match
Hinton fires 39, paces North in tri-match
North Harrison junior Hallie Hinton drills one of her long tee shots in the Lady Cats' match against Crawford County and Christian Academy of Indiana. Hinton medaled with a score of 39. Photo by Wade Bell

North Harrison junior Hallie Hinton beat back the heat, humidity and golfers from Crawford County and Christian Academy of Indiana to medal in a three-way golf match last Monday at Lucas Oil Golf Course in English. Hinton led the Lady Cats to an 84-shot win over CAI, which started its golf program at the beginning of the school year.
‘I was very happy with it,’ Hinton said after the match. ‘It could have been better, but I really can’t complain with a 39. I only had one three-putt today, which was an improvement. I’ve still got to keep working on my 60-yard shots and ins, but, beyond that, I’m pretty happy.’
Hinton, CAI’s Grace Jennings and Crawford County’s Stephanie Johnson led group one on the first tee and found themselves working at a slow pace. Jennings struggled early on, putting four golf balls into the lake and slowing the pace. Hinton and Johnson hit the fairway on their first shots, but Johnson’s ball went right into the rough on her second, and she went on to double-bogey. Hinton, meanwhile, got her match off on the right foot with par.
Hinton parred her first five holes and kept her composure through the slow pace of the match.
‘It’s hard to play like that,’ the Lady Cat junior said. ‘I just had to focus a lot more, and that may have helped me … ‘
One thing helping Hinton was hitting the longest drives of those competing.
‘I couldn’t have drove the ball better than I did today,’ she said. ‘I guess it’s what I ate this morning or something. … Hitting the long ball helps. It’s just getting those short shots down, and the game’s a lot easier.’
Hinton went on to finish with a 39 for the day for medalist honors, finishing with six pars and three bogeys. Hinton was still frustrated with the one three-putt even though she cut that down from multiple three-putts per match earlier in the season.
‘It was frustrating,’ she said. ‘It’s been my weakest part, my three-putts. But I only had one today, and (it) is an improvement from having three or four. I’ve been scoring well with the three-putts, but then I think about how my score could be without the three-putts. This week, I’ve gone into the golf course for a couple of hours every day with just drills and keeping the ball straight.’
North Harrison finished with a 195, with Cassidy Thompson shooting 47, Sophia Jacobi 54 and Katie Alexander 55. CAI finished with a 279, as Jennings scored a 67, Emma Limeberry a 70, Britney Rodewig a 71 and Allie Swarens a 71.
Crawford County was a player short of having a team score, with Johnson shooting a 54, Morgan Stutzman a 55 and Emily McMonigle a 66.
‘We’re still getting some practices in,’ Crawford County coach Brian Ruble said. ‘This is more like practice. When you first start, you get a few days, then you get to play. We average about three matches a week, so I told them earlier these are your practices. You just want to concentrate on each and every shot and each and every stroke and try your best to get some consistency and just improve during the season.’
Ruble said, despite the higher score, Johnson is showing improvements in her game.
‘The first match she was very subpar for what she wants, for what she can play,’ he said. ‘She bounced back Thursday over here and did well. She had a 49 and struck the ball a lot better than she did the day before. I saw her hit some good balls today. She’s starting to get off the tee a little bit better. She had struggled at first getting off the tee, and the last couple of days she’s been hitting the ball consistently.’
Of Stutzman, Ruble said his sophomore has shown signs of being a good golfer.
‘She’s got the potential to do real well, and I know she will in terms of just working it and getting better and getting more consistent, because, right now, it’s like anybody else,’ he said. ‘You could be up, you could be down on your scores, because you just haven’t played a whole lot yet. That’s where we’re all at right now. We’re in the same boat.’
Hinton, meanwhile, said the goal is to keep her scores consistently lower and she has high hopes for her team when sectional time comes.
‘This year, my goal is, in all of my 18-hole tournaments, to stay in the mid-80s and below,’ Hinton said. ‘So far, I have, and my nine-hole matches breaking 40 and getting in the high 30s and keep pushing. I want to get to regionals, and, if I can work hard enough, I’d like to get to state. I still have two years left, but that’s the goal.
‘I think our team this year has a really good chance of getting out of sectional as a team, which takes the pressure off of me,’ she said, ‘because I’m not having to work so hard to get out of the sectional.’

at Lucas Golf Course
North Harrison 195 (Hallie Hinton 39, Cassidy Thompson 47, Sophia Jacobi 54, Katie Alexander 55); Christian Academy of Indiana 279 (Grace Jennings 67, Emma Limeberry 70, Britney Rodewig 71, Allie Swarens 71); Crawford County NTS (Stephanie Johnson 54, Morgan Stutzman 55, Emily McMonigle 66).
Medalist: Hinton (NH) 39.