The Southwest Minnesota State women's golf team shot a final round of 349 Thursday to move into sixth place at the nine-team Classic Club Invite at Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
SMSU shot a two-day total of 719. Minnesota State-Mankato won the tournament with a two-day total of 662.
The Mustangs' Day 2 score was 21 strokes better than its Day 1 total, but head coach Ross Webskowski said the squad still has plenty of room for improvement after its first action of the 2012 season.
"We played a little better today, our team score was better, but the conditions were also a little more favorable," Webskowski said. "It's still not the way we wanted to play as a team."
Erin Misheff from Ashland (Ohio) took home medalist honors with an 8-over par round of 152, which was seven strokes better than the next best individual.
SMSU was led by senior KC Kane, who shot an 8-over round of 80 on Thursday and tied for 12th with a two-day total of 169. Abby Gruber, who golfed as an individual for the Mustangs, tied for 20th at 30-over.
Webskowski said his team may have struggled during the tournament because of an unfamiliarity with the type of course it was on.
"The desert courses are a little different than what we're used to," he said. "There are more sand traps all around and that made it more challenging for not just us, but all the northern teams.
"It was our first tournament and we had high expectations to perform well, and when you don't do that it's tough to stay positive."
Webskowski said a bright spot for his team was the play of Gruber and fellow freshman Haley Thomas, who both golfed as individuals. Thomas finished seven strokes back of Gruber in a tie for 29th with a score of 181. She shot an 82 on Thursday.
The Mustangs continue their spring trip Monday and Tuesday when they will compete at the Texas A&M Commerce Invitational at Tanglewood Golf Club in Pottsboro, Texas. Webskowski said it will be the largest tournament his team will compete in this year.
Team Results: 1. Minnesota State-Mankato 662 (+86); 2. California-PA 672; 3. Ashland 676; 4. Concordia-St. Paul 692; 5. Western New Mexico 703; 6. Southwest Minnesota State 719; 7. Upper Iowa 725; 9. Illinois-Springfield 726; 9. St. Cloud State 755.
SMSU Individual Results: t12. KC Kane 89-90 169; t20. Abby Gruber (ind) 85-89 174; t22. Krista Weiszhaar 89-86 175; t29. Haley Thomas (ind) 99-82 181; t41. Marissa Campeau 97-91 188; t 46. Katelyn Schwartz (ind) 93-97 190; 49. Rachel Patnoe 95-96 191; 50. Haley Gudim 103-92 195; 51. Trisha Kienitz (ind) 100-97 197; 57. Amber Meyer (ind) 111-107 218.