Given a day off, senior Morgan Cross knew what she had to do.
She had to practice.
“Any chance we have, we go out and practice,” Cross said. “We had a great fall semester, but we want to build on that and be playing our best at each tournament.”
The extra practice will come in handy as Cross and the rest of the Racers tee off at 9 a.m. on Sunday and Monday at Miller Memorial Golf Course in the annual Time Warner Communications Racer Classic.
The tournament kicks off the spring season for the Racers and will be an excellent gauge of where the team is now and where it needs to go in order to push for the OVC crown determined at the OVC Championships in April.
The team’s first practice was held on Feb. 7, and Velvet Milkman, in her 19th year as head coach, said the practice was a good one.
“We continue to get better and improve every time we practice,” Milkman said. “We won’t be on top this early in the season, but we’re in a good spot right now.”
Milkman said some of the kinks in the women’s game include struggles in the short game which could make for a difficult tournament, but the team was no doubt improving as the week progressed.
“We have to learn to adapt to adverse weather conditions,” Milkman said. “To do that, we must be mentally prepared.”
Murray State will take on six other teams this weekend including Eastern Kentucky, Southern Illinois, Lipscomb, Drury, Jacksonville State and Tennessee State in what is sure to be a tough matchup for the Racers regardless of home course advantage.
While the entire team will see action at this weekend’s event, Milkman said Cross, juniors Alexandra Lennartsson and Allie Weaver, sophomore Delaney Howson and freshman Sophie Olley will start for the Racers.
Others participating as individuals include senior Madolyn Parker, freshman Gina Nuzzo and senior Claudia Schwan.
While the Racers were preseason favorites to win the OVC this season, Milkman said the OVC field is deeper than ever with strong teams like defending champion Morehead State, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State all gaining ground in the conference.
Nothing is given this year, she said, and it could be anyone’s game come time for the championship.
“We just want to go out and win,” Milkman said. “Hopefully we’ll be peaking when the OVC Tournament comes around.”
The Racers are also proud to announce the signing of incoming freshman Abbi Stamper.
Committing during the early signing period in Fall 2011 and joining the team in Fall 2012, Stamper is from Frankfort, Ky., with her high school career having been at Franklin County High School.
Stamper had a scoring average of 77.8 and finished with five top-five finishes her senior year.