BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – For the first time in school history, the Lady Pirates golf team is heading to state after winning the WIAA D1 Notre Dame Sectional on October 3 at Thornberry Creek.
Behind a winning performance from freshman Jo Baranczyk, Bay Port’s low score of 369 was 12 shots better than Green Bay Preble Co-op and 15 strokes ahead of third-place Waupaca.
The Pirates will next take part in the WIAA team state championship meet in Madison on October 9-10 at the University Ridge Golf Course.
“The girls were in a very relaxed state of mind,” said Bay Port head coach Jeff Johnsen. “We had a good practice round and the girls are so familiar with the course. We talked about the importance of not having large numbers and just keeping the ball in play. They did a great job of that and more. Conditions were pretty windy at times, but the girls stuck with the plan.”
Baranczyk, the Fox River Classic Conference golfer of the year, took medalist honors with her 4-over par 76 to win by 6 shots over Mark Ash from Waupaca.
“I am so thrilled and excited for all of us on the team,” said Baranczyk, who carded an even par 36 on the front 9. “I have been telling the girls all season long that we can get to state and we did! We all really came through in the end.
“The wind on holes 7, 8 and 9 was as windy as I have played in. That includes playing right off Lake Michigan at Whistling Straits; but our team was fortunate to have handled it.”
FRCC champ Green Bay Notre Dame finished a distant fourth, 23 shots behind the Pirates. The Tritons’ No. 4 and 5 golfers both had 11’s on the first hole to put themselves in a precarious spot right off the bat. Bay Port was ahead of its conference rival by 11 strokes after the opening hole.
Madelyn Peters (11th place, 95), Lauren Lemorande (tied for 18th, 99), Courtney Koeberl (tied for 18th, 99) and Tori Grimm (tied for 26th, 102) rounded out the Pirates’ lineup.
“I knew we were in a good spot after the front 9,” added Johnsen. “The girls finished it with some good back 9 scores, including a 45 from Lauren and a 40 from Jo. The girls worked hard to progress to this point all year.”