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March 11, 2006

Blythewood, S.C. – – Auburn shattered the Lady Gamecock Classic team single-round scoring record and stormed into the lead at the event after carding a 10-under-par 278 Saturday at the University Club. The sixth-ranked Tigers shaved 26 strokes off their first-round score and now own a six-stroke lead on Tennessee heading into Sunday’s final round. Several players are in the mix for medalist honors heading into Sunday’s final round, but Auburn’s Maria Martinez holds a two-stroke lead on teammate Nicole Hage and Tennessee’s Nicole Smith for the lead after two rounds, as Martinez’s three-under-par score of 73-68=141 tops the individual leader board after two rounds. South Carolina stands in ninth place, 29 strokes off Auburn’s pace despite carving 17 strokes off their first-round total with a 314-297=611.

Auburn’s performance Saturday easily surpassed the previous single-round record of 286, set by Duke in 2002 and in 1996.

Every South Carolina player finished Saturday with a lower score than Friday, with sophomore Whitney Simons leading the way. Simons, whose 77-72=149 places her in a tie for 15th on the individual leader board, looked particularly good on the back nine Saturday, carding seven pars and a pair of birdies in her final nine holes.

No Gamecock player showed a bigger improvement than senior Erica Battle, whose 79-72=151 moved her into a tie for 24th on the individual leader board. Similar to Simons, Battle tasted success at the end of her day, posting three birdies and seven pars on her final 10 holes of the day.

Junior Jenna Pearson enters Sunday’s final round with a 78-75=153 mark that places her in a tie for 31st, with sophomore Camila Mori and Laura McCaslin rounding out the Carolina effort with an 80-78=158 and an 81-78=159, respectively.

Playing as individuals with their scores not counting toward the team’s total, Blythe Worley is tied for 39th with a 79-76=155 and Laura Raffo is tied for 45th with an 80-77=157.

Final round action begins tomorrow with a 9 a.m. Shotgun Start.

Team Leader Board
1. Auburn: 304-278=582 (+6)
2. Tennessee: 300-288=588 (+12)
3. Virginia: 302-289=591 (+15)
4. Florida State: 302-295=597 (+21)
5. North Carolina State: 305-293=598 (+22)
6. Wake Forest: 305-294=599 (+23)
7. Furman: 301-300=601 (+25)
8. Augusta State: 314-292=606 (+30)
9. South Carolina: 314-297=611 (+35)
10. East Tennessee State: 317-305=622 (+46)
11. Minnesota: 330-323=653 (+77)

Gamecocks on the Individual Leader Board
T15. Whitney Simons: 77-72=149 (+5)
T24. Erica Battle: 79-72=151 (+7)
T31. Jenna Pearson: 78-75=153 (+9)
T48. Camila Mori: 80-78=158 (+14)
T50. Laura McCaslin: 81-78=159 (+15)

T39. Blythe Worley*: 79-76=155 (+11)
T45. Laura Raffo*: 80-77=157 (+13)

* Playing as individuals with scores not counting toward the team total.