After struggling on the opening nine (199), the Lady Flames finished the final nine with an impressive 169 and the scores of the top four players gave Maupin's team a 292 total and an eight-stroke lead going into the final round at the Highland Park Golf Club.
"I was really proud of how we finished," noted Jayne Maupin. "It seemed like all our players made birdies down the stretch, and that ultimately made the difference. We are looking forward to tomorrow."
Washington University (300) is second and the University of the Cumberlands (302), Centre College (303) and Methodist University, the No. 1-ranked NCAA D-3 program, rounds out the top five in the large field of 22 teams and 124 individual players. Birmingham Southern, the host squad and ranked-11th in NCAA D-3, holds down the sixth spot (307).
Courtney Shelton is tied for second in the battle for medalist honors and she set the trend for Lee's day, going out with a 38 and coming home with a 33 for the 71 total. Emily Javadi of Sewanee is the tourney leader after posting a 68 on the par 70 course.
A couple of the younger Lady Flames followed their leader. Freshman Berndette Little got started with a 40, but came sizzling back with a 32 on the back side and her 2-over 72 is good enough for a tie for fourth place. Sophomore Madison Alexander also started with a 40, but came back with a 34 and is tied for 11th with a 74.
Sloane Skinner carded a 38-35 - 75 to garner the final spot of the four Lee scores that counted, but Chelsa Rakestraw also came firing back with a 43-35 - 78 finish.
"We played a very solid round today," said the assistant women's coach. "The conditions were challenging (windy and cold), but having five girls score in the 70s shows how well our girls played — having five scores in play all day was important. This is a very strong field, even more so that last year, with some solid NCAA schools."
The Lady Flames are the defending champs.