ELBURN – Thursday’s Upstate Eight Conference River Division girls golf meet between Batavia and Geneva at Hughes Creek Golf Club turned out to be one of those rare sporting events in which the losing side left feeling perhaps a little better than the winners.
The Vikings came out on top, 179-192, but Geneva coach Eric Hatczel was not entirely pleased with the play of his squad.
“I think we struggled today,” he said. “It was the first time we ever had to worry about a score over 50 from any one of the girls. We don’t have anybody that goes super low … but they’re all collectively capable of shooting in the low 40s or mid 40s on a regular basis. Seeing a couple come in that were over 50 was a little alarming.”
On the plus side, Hatczel noted that any of the Vikings have the capacity to step up and post a low score to help the team, and Thursday that was junior Nicole Hassels, who fired a 6-over-par 42 for Geneva (4-1).
“It was much better than I’ve been doing recently,” Hassels said. “My drives were a lot farther than they have been lately and I had a lot of one-putts, so that made me confident.”
Hassels was two strokes better than Batavia’s Lauren Anderson, whose 44 was the second-lowest score on the day.
“[Wednesday], we played West Chicago and Waubonsie Valley and I was coming off a fever-flu thing, so I didn’t do too well,” Anderson said. “I really wanted to come out and make up for it, so today I feel really good about it.”
Anderson would have finished with an even lower score if her 40-foot birdie putt attempt on the par-4 No. 1 hole had not lipped out.
Batavia coach Morgan Connell also was feeling more upbeat than she was a day earlier.
“We did not have a good night [Wednesday] night,” she said. “We lost by like 40 [strokes]. Tonight, I’m really, really proud of them for Geneva to sneak one by us with 13 strokes, that’s good – much more respectable. We’ve got three scores in the 40s.”
Rebecca Haseman shot a 48 for the Bulldogs (1-5) and Candace Eamon added a 49.
Kari Kirl and Elise Anderson each carded a 45 for Geneva and Allie Henrie finished at 47.
The Vikings’ lone loss of the season so far came to Neuqua Valley.
“We were at home and we had an average day and they had a good day,” Hatczel said. “Waubonsie and [St. Charles] North are coming up next, which will be two good challenges for the girls, but two good opportunities at home for the girls to see what they can do.”