Last year as a freshman, Litchfield’s Laura Boston proved that she was one of the best in the area as she advanced to the sectional tournament before missing the state cut by just nine strokes. On Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Rochester Sectional, Boston proved that she’s not only one of the best in the area, but one of the best in the state as well.
Going up against some heavy hitters like Rochester’s Karlie Schnepp, Williamsville’s Faith Davis and Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Sofia Lowis, who tied for medalist honors before Schnepp won in a playoff, Boston proved she could hang with the best of the best as she finished in a tie for seventh with an 86.
“Laura has had an outstanding season,” Coach Dan Newkirk said after the tournament. “ Today, she took a huge step in her career by ‘qualifying for state.’ She would have been qualifier number five out of ten.”
“Qualifying” is in quotes due to the cancellation of the state tournament due to the coronavirus restrictions, but the change in the postseason takes nothing away from Boston’s accomplishment.
Of the 64 players in the tournament, only two shot better than Boston’s 4-over-par 40 on the front nine at The Rail in Sherman. She was one of just three players, joining St. Tomas More’s Mia Kirby and Routt’s Addie Dobson, to finish the first five holes at even par and the only one to do it without a bogey.
The Litchfield sophomore would finish the front nine with a bogey on six and eight, a double on seven and her sixth par of the day on the par-4 ninth hole, putting her in strong position for a top ten finish at the turn.
Boston would start off the back nine with another par, followed by a bogey and her eighth par of the day. The closest thing Boston would have to a hiccup all day would come in the stretch between holes 13 and 16, where she went bogey, bogey, triple, triple, moving her score from plus-5 to plus-13, but she settled down with another par and a bogey to close out the round for a solid 46 and an 86 on the day.
The sectional success was just the latest in a season of milestones for Boston and the Lady Panthers, who finished the season with a remarkable team record of 20-2. Boston was medalist or co-medalist nine of the ten matches and was the SCC champion for the second straight year.
She and her teammates also won the conference title for the second consecutive time and would have been a threat to make it out of regionals as a team in a more conventional season.
But the “what if”s can be replaced by “what will be” as the Panthers will return their top seven players from this year’s team in 2021. That’s exciting for everyone, with the possible exception of their opponents.
“I am looking forward to the progress Laura and the entire team makes over the next two years,” Coach Newkirk said.
October 15 at Sherman
Class 1A Sectional
at The Rail - Par 72
Team Results: 1. Sacred Heart-Griffin 349; 2. St. Tomas More 375; 3. Charleston 375 4. Paris 407; 5. Auburn 407; 6. Quincy Notre Dame 409; 7. Mt. Sterling Brown County 411; 8. Mahomet-Seymour 427.
Medalist: Karlie Schnepp (Rochester) 79* In Playoff
Top 10: 1. Karlie Schnepp (Rochester) 79; 2. Faith Davis (Williamsville) 79; 2. Sofia Lowis (Sacred Heart-Griffin) 79; 4. Mia Kirby (St. Tomas More) 82; 5. Addie Dobson (Jacksonville Routt Catholic) 83; 6. Natalie Schroeder (Watseka) 85; 7. Laura Boston (Litchfield) 86 7. Ashley Long (Monticello) 86 9. Addison Eades (Sacred Heart-Griffin) 88 9. Brooke Erhard (St. Tomas More) 88.
Litchfield: 7. Laura Boston 86.