Oxford, Miss. - Western Carolina freshman Maddi Caldwell carded a career-low round of 3-under par 69 to rally to an 11th-place finish while senior Kim Mitchell posted a 2-under round of 70 to finish tied for 21st to lead the Catamounts to a seventh-place finish at the Rebel Intercollegiate concluded Sunday at the par-72, 6,323 yard.
Caldwell jumped 18 spots over Sunday's final round, finishing with a career-low, 54-hole score of 222 (77-76-69) while Mitchell was among the biggest movers on the final day, advancing 32 spots in the final results with a three-day score of 227 (78-79-70).
Opening on the back nine, Caldwell posted five birdies through the first nine holes to make the turn at 5-under par. After a bogey on the par-4 hole No. 1, the Dawsonville, Ga., native charted her sixth birdie of the round to return to 5-under par with seven holes to play. Back-to-back bogies on the third and fourth left Caldwell at 3-under par, finishing the round with five-consecutive pars for her career-best round.
Mitchell countered three bogies with five birdies for the 2-under par round. The Woodbridge, Va., native was 2-under par through the first seven holes before back-to-back bogies relegated her back to even-par with nine holes to play. Mitchell finished with three birdies and a third bogey, carding two birdies and two pars to finish the tournament strong.
WCU's second-round leader, senior Mariah Hopkins, finished tied for 26th overall with a three-day score of 228 (77-75-76). Hopkins carded 10-straight pars to start the round before back-to-back bogies on the first and second holes and a double-bogey on the par-3 fifth left her at 4-over for the round.
Overall, Caldwell finished the tournament tied for fourth in par-3 scoring at 3.08 (+1) while Kim Mitchell was tied for second in par-5 scoring at 4.67 (-4). Hopkins finished with 37 pars among the 54-hole tournament, tied for sixth overall in the field. All told, WCU finished the tournament with 161 pars, sixth among the field.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five were freshman Natalia Villavicencio in a tie for 56th at 234 (78-78-78), while junior Ashley Thompson came home tied for 61st, a stroke back at 235 (78-80-76). Villavicencio carded 12 pars while Thompson charted two birdies against six bogies for the 4-over final round of 76.
Playing unattached as an individual, junior Bethany Galloway finished tied for 39th with a 54-hole score of 231 (77-78-76)). Galloway was fourth among all of the individual competitors.
Led by individual champion, Fatima Caho (209), Troy cruised to the team championship on Sunday, finishing in front of tournament-host, Ole Miss by 17 strokes, 871-to-888. Fresno State rallied to match Harvard in the third spot with identical scores of 895, while ETSU finished fifth at 902.
Western Carolina now turns its attention to the 2016 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship, April 10-12 at the Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga. The Catamounts are looking to build upon a fourth-place finish a year ago as a team with Mitchell looking for back-to-back top five finishes at the annual event.