Pioneers in second place after NWC Championship first round

Pioneers in second place after NWC Championship first round

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers lead Whitman by six strokes after Saturday's first round of the Northwest Conference Championship at Tacoma Country Club.

Sofia Vigil and Annie McCutchan are tied for fourth place to lead the way individually for the Pioneers, who also got a top-10 performance from senior Claire Burke.

Lewis & Clark trails first-round leader George Fox by 15 strokes. The Pios finished behind both George Fox and Whitman at the first two events of the NWC postseason series, the NWC Fall Classic and the NWC Spring Classic. Lewis & Clark would need to win the tournament and have George Fox finish third or worse to win the conference championship. The Pios can claim the conference's second-place spot for the year if they finish in second place ahead of Whitman at the NWC Championship.

Vigil shot even-par on the front nine, getting birdies on holes three and six, and finished with a 4-over-par 76. McCuthcan shot the same score in the first round with a 1-over-par 36 performance on the front nine. The sophomore birdied the fifth and 14th.

Burke bogeyed five of the first six holes on the scorecard, and double bogeyed the eighth, before birdies on three - the ninth, 10th and 18th - to finish with a 7-over-par 79, which puts her in ninth place.

Arielle Valdez is 14-over-par with an 86, good for a tie for 24th place. Tori Eichten put up a 92 in her first round.

Kristin Elich of George Fox is in the individual lead by one stroke with a 2-over-par 74.

The final round begins at 8 a.m. on Sunday.