WESTMINSTER, Md. – The Franklin & Marshall women's golf team got its 2022-23 season off to a great start as the Diplomats took home the team title at McDaniel's Fall Invitational on Sunday. The Diplomats shot a team score of 344 to top Gettysburg by 13 strokes. Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall tied for second place at the Centennial Conference Championships last year. The Diplomats' score during their first tournament of the year was topped by the team just once last year when they shot 342 during the second round of the CC Championship.
All five Diplomats finished in the top 12 of the field which featured a total of 29 golfers. Claire Hill led all Diplomats with a round of 82 on The Bridges Golf Course. She was just one shot off the pace of the runner-up and seven strokes behind Stevenson's Casey Oppenheimer who took home medalist honors. Hill's score was nine shots better than the sophomore's previous best in college.
Fellow sophomore Janire Vela finished with a round of 87 as she tied for sixth place. Vela's card on Saturday represented her second time shooting in the 80s in college after turning in a career-best 85 at the F&M Invitational last spring. Tying with Vela was first-year Reilly Melvin, who made her collegiate debut with a round of 87. Just one shot off that group was Lauren Chen's round of 88. Going back to last season, four of Chen's last six rounds have been in the 80s after hitting that milestone for the first time in her collegiate career last spring. Bryn Fitchett turned in a strong 12th-place finish with her score of 92 for her fourth-best collegiate round all-time.
Looking to keep that early momentum going, the Diplomats return to action this Saturday when they host the Franklin & Marshall Fall Invitational at Overlook Golf Course. That tournament will additionally feature Centennial Conference foes Dickinson and McDaniel. First tee shots are scheduled for 12 p.m. noon.