SAINT LEO – Amanda Gartrell's 72 on Monday was Florida Southern's top score, and Madi Wetzel added a 75 as the Moccasins cut eight shots off their team total on day two of the Sunshine State Conference Women's Golf Championships. The 11th-ranked Moccasins are in eighth place in the team standings with Gartrell tied for sixth individually.
At various points during the day, four different teams had the lead, including first-round leader Nova Southeastern, but when it ended, two other teams were tied for first and the Sharks had slipped to fourth. Top-ranked Barry had a 290 on Tuesday and No. 8 Lynn had a 291 to finish the second round tied at +13 for the tournament. No. 19 Tampa also had a 291 and is third at +15, and No. 3 Nova Southeastern turned in a 298 for a fourth-place score of +17.
All four teams are at or ahead of the SSC Tournament record of +17, which was set by Nova last year, and it's only the third time in 21 years there is a tie for first at the end of two rounds. The last time it happened in 2015, neither of those teams ended up winning.
Following Nova Southeastern is No. 13 Saint Leo in fifth place at +25, No. 5 Florida Tech sixth at +26, No. 16 Rollins in seventh place at +31, and No. 11 Florida Southern eighth at +36. The Moccasins are 16 shots ahead of ninth-place Palm Beach Atlantic.
Gartrell was finished her round ahead of most of the other individual leaders and went to the clubhouse still tied for eighth. As play progressed, she moved up to sixth and remained within six strokes of the leader, Kiira Riihijarvi of Tampa. Gartrell charged out of the blocks with two birdies on her first three holes and turned at -1. Another birdie on the 105-yard par-3 No. 14 got her back at -2 where she was earlier in the day before a double-bogey on 16 and pars on 17 and 18 gave her the second-round score of 72.
Riihijarvi had a 72 as well, but Nova's Hanna Ahlander and Lynn's Matilda Wahren cut into her lead by shooting a 71, drawing within one stroke of the lead at two-under-par 142. Two other golfers are tied for fifth with 146 (+2), including Barry's Josefina Foa Torres, who shot a 69 Tuesday.
Wetzel's first round was better than the score indicated with only a couple of bad holes driving it up. Two of her three birdies on Monday came on back-to-back holes at 13 and 14, and she played the entire back nine at even par. Her second-round score of 75 gives her a 158 for the tournament has her tied for 36th place.
Tori Higgins was the Moccasins' third counter with a 77, and was +1 for the final 11 holes. Combined with her 76 from Sunday she has a total score of 153 and is tied for 24th.
Loren Perez and Shelby Lewis each carded a 78, and though Perez parred more holes, Lewis tied Gartrell for the team lead with four birdies. Three of those came on the back nine, including both of the second-half par-fives. Perez is now tied for 27th with a 154, and Lewis is tied for 46th with a 162.
With Wetzel knocking three strokes off her score on the back nine, and Lewis shaving two off hers, the Moccasins played the second half of the day at +5 after the first nine holes had a +9.
The final round of the SSC Championships begins Tuesday morning at 8:30 on Lake Jovita's South Course. The Moccasins will tee off between 8:30 and 9:10 beginning on hole one, with the final groups starting their rounds at 10:10.