STAPLES -- Some may say Mary Hasselberg carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she wouldn't know what they are talking about.
The Staples-Motley Cardinal girls' golfer has been to the Class A state tournament three times and is currently ranked second in the Class A Coaches Association. Her two older sisters went on to play Division I golf -- Heather at Purdue and Dana is now playing at Bradley.
All of this and she's is only a junior.
The Cardinals have been to the state tournament the last four years, capturing two first and two second places. Now she's the leader of a young squad still trying to find consistency.
On May 2 at the Pelican Rapids Invitational, Hasselberg shot an 18-hole score of 84 to earn individual medalist. She was three strokes better than second-place finisher Katie Glovigan of Grand Rapids.
With her score, Hasselberg helped the Cardinals place second. The Cardinals took another second place despite tying for first at the Park Rapids invite May 3. The Cardinals, led by Hasselberg's 80, tied with Roseau with 352 stokes. The tie breaker went to Roseau.
Individually, Hasselberg tied for first with Roseau's Sarah Butler. The tie breaker went to Butler so Hasselberg settled for second. Thursday at the Brainerd Invitational at the Classic Hasselberg continued her hot streak firing a 79 for another individual medalist. Her week wasn't done as she helped the Cardinals win Fergus Falls Invite Friday with a round of 77.
"She's played enough competitive golf where it doesn't matter if it's first, second or third, it means nothing to her," said Cardinal head coach Glen Hasselberg. "To her the team is more important than the individual.
"Everybody knows she's going to be in the running. Our goal is to get the team able to shoot consistent scores. Will she have a bad round? Of course, but not to the extent where she won't count in the scoring. Her ability to shoot low scores takes the pressure off the other girls."
Hasselberg has been consistent all year. In five events, she's placed in the top five each time. At the Cardinal Invite at the Legacy at Cragun's, Hasselberg tied with Brainerd's Lisa Renneke for top honors. A scorecard playoff went to Hasselberg.
Hasselberg carded a 36-hole score of 166 to take home fifth place at the Brainerd/Pequot Lakes Invite at the Pines at Grand View Lodge on April 27. In the two-day tournament Hasselberg shot rounds of 80 and 86. The next day at Izatys Hasselberg shot an 85 to tie for second place. The Cardinals won the tournament.
"I think that the rest of the team started doing well and that's why we've been improving," she said. "It takes some pressure off of me because one score isn't going to win and we have some people who can go low. I would rather play as a team."
Despite the pressure of following in her sisters' footsteps and leading a Cardinal team that has become a perennial state participant, Hasselberg has handled the pressure with ease.
"I don't think there's a lot of pressure," said the junior. "I feel I have a lot of experience so I don't have any pressure. I didn't even know I was ranked in the state.
Having her father as her coach has helped Hasselberg. She didn't seriously start playing the game until she was 9. Before that she would tag along on the golf course. That early start has helped her mental game, which, her coach believes, is her strongest asset.
"She is a very strong athlete," said the S-M coach. "She's got a great attitude. She doesn't let things bother her. She can have a bad hole and she goes and plays the next one. She can shoot 75 or 90 and you wouldn't know the difference.
"She likes to compete but she just brings a great attitude to the game. Some people have the tendency to beat themselves up but she doesn't do that."
Other notable performances:
Softball -- Jenna Carlson of Pequot Lakes was 2-for-3 with four RBI, three runs and a grand slam home run to help the Patriots to a 13-4 win over Verndale. She was 2-2 with three runs scored and two RBI in 16-6 win over Pillager
Pine River-Backus' Brooke Rollins was 4-for-7 with a home run in a pair of losses to Sebeka.
Emma Hoglund of Pequot Lakes pitched both ends of a doubleheader to help the Patriots to 10-0 and 13-1 wins. In the second game Hoglund struck out six and gave up only one hit. The one run was unearned. Hoglund had 10 strikeouts and allowed only two earned runs in a 16-6 win over Pillager
Verndale's Steph Tomte was 4-for-4 with three RBI in a 9-2 win over New York Mills.
Track -- Avery Buresh of Wadena-Deer Creek won the 400-meter run with a time of 1:01.44 and was part of the winning 4x200 and 4x400 relays, which also captured first, at the Hawley invite.
Flecia Foster of Pequot Lakes won the 100 dash and the triple jump along with helping the 4x100 relay team take first at the Section 7A true team meet.
Golf -- C-I's Kelly Uglem shot a 78 to help the Rangers win the Grand Rapids Invitational and set a school record in the process. Uglem's 78 was good for individual medalist.
Pierz's Kayla Boser was the individual medalist at the Central Minnesota Conference meet Friday.
Jackie Heslop of Pequot Lakes was the individual medalist at the Fergus Falls invite Friday. Heslop shot a one-over-par 73.
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