Thursday September 27, 2012

LEE - Danielle Lapierre likes being a little different.

The St. Joseph's junior's golf bag sticks out a little bit from those of her teammates. It's emblazoned with "Lady Crusaders" for the only girl on the team.

"It doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would," Lapierre said. " They're nice to me. It's a fun atmosphere. ... [ Golf] is a little something different. There's good scholarship opportunities. Everyone else plays soccer. It's different."

Lapierre, who was third in the Western Massachusetts girls tournament last year, shot a 49 Wednesday for St. Joseph's in a 168-194 loss to Lee at Greenock Country Club. There aren't enough girls who want to play for the Crusaders - as is the case across the county - so Lapierre plays with the boys, hitting from the ladies' tees. She struggled with the same issues her male teammates had on the par-35 layout at Greenock on Tuesday: putting.

"When she strikes the ball like she can, she can go very low," said St. Joe's coach Fran Brilliant. "She still has some maturity to come with her short game, like a lot of golfers."

Lapierre complained about not being to make anything in the loss. It wasn't much easier for the Wildcats' Jared Fadding, who earned medalist honors with a 38 despite three-putting four times. Andy Consolati added a 41 while J.T. Brown had a 42 for Lee. St. Joe's was led by a 46 from Tim Wiles.

One of Fadding's best shots of the day didn't come on the green but from the short game. He chipped in blindly on No. 8, discovering his birdie when he walked up to the green and his ball was in the cup.

"I'm very happy with that score," Fadding said. "If I putted a little better today, it would've been lower. But I can't complain with 3-over."

It was a difficult day on the greens for most. Lee coach Tom McDarby said the greens have been in great condition at Greenock all year, making them fast and tough.

It made for a frustrating day for Lapierre, who is preparing for next week's Western Mass. girls tournament. She shot a 39 in practice on Tuesday, but couldn't get near that score on Wednesday. She's still looking for that consistency which depends a lot on the mental side of her game.

"The worst club in my bag is my brain," Lapierre said. "I really need to keep my mental game under control. I make a bad hole and that's all I'm thinking about. I need to forget about it."

Brilliant said he's hoping to get Lapierre into the 30s during a match. She'll be gunning for another top-five finish next week at the sectional tournament, something Brilliant said was very doable.

" She's got to play better than she did today," Brilliant said. " She strikes the ball fine. ... It's all how they do around the green that makes the difference."

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Lee 168, St. Joe's 194 LEE (168) - Jared Fadding 38, Andy Consolati 41, Joe Free 47, J.T. Brown 42, Kurt Warner 51, Devyn Olds 52.

ST. JOSEPH'S (194) - Andy Cella 51, Danielle Lapierre 49, Cody Tynan 60, Tim Wiles 46, Dan Meunier 48, Tim Jones 57.