Queens of the Big East
When senior Hannah Basalone stepped foot on campus as a freshman in the fall of 2010, she was one of the first five members of the women’s golf team. Four seasons later, she leaves having helped the team to its first Big East Championship.
The Pirates led throughout the tournament and entered the third round with a 13-stroke lead over the second-place Georgetown Hoyas. The team finished with a 64-over par, 314-302-312-928, 13 strokes ahead of Georgetown.
“It’s surreal,” Basalone said. “I don’t think it’s completely registered in my mind yet. I think it was extra weird too because we were leading the entire time.”
Junior Erin McClure and sophomore Megan Tenhundfeld led the way for the Hall, finishing in a tie for second place with a 13-over-par, 229. Junior Ali Kruse finished in ninth place with a 16-over-par, 232. Basalone finished in 13th with a 22-over-par, 238 and sophomore Karlie Zabrosky tied for 19th with a 30-over-par, 246.
Exactly three years prior, the team competed in its first conference championship, which didn’t end too favorably for the Pirates.
The team finished in last place of the eight-team conference 134 strokes behind the team champion Notre Dame and 75 strokes behind Cincinnati, the seventh-place team.
“I think back to freshman year at Big East,” Basalone said, being the only Pirate who golfed at the 2011 Big East Championship making her return. “It was great, but it was so overwhelming to see where we were at and where every other team we were competing against was at.”
Head coach Sara Doell said much of the program’s success and growth since its beginning is due in large part to Basalone’s play and leadership to the team.
“We couldn’t have done it without that one right there,” she said, pointing to Basalone. “Hannah’s had an amazing career, it’s no secret this year was not her best numbers performance, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t help lead us.”
Basalone carried the weight of the team for her first two seasons, with her play dictating the final score the team produced.
“For the first two years, all of the weight was on (Basalone’s) shoulders, because when Hannah played well, we played well,” Doell said.
When Basalone signed with the team along with four others in May, Doell had big thoughts for the future of the young program.
“We look forward to building a competitive team,” Doell said in a release in 2010.
“I believe this freshman class will bring both significant experience and success to the program.”
Basalone said that her decision to come here came rather quickly and it didn’t take long for her to begin her career at Seton Hall.
“I decided to come here rather quickly and it was kind of a rush in the beginning. I don’t think I knew what I was getting into. Not in a bad way, but starting a program is a rare thing. Even if it hadn’t have ended this way, it would have still been the best four years of my life. To end it on something like this is just unreal.”
Collegiate golf isn’t quite over for Basalone and the Pirates as the team will play in the NCAA Regional Championships on May 8-10.
After that, Basalone will pursue a Master’s degree in english from Boston College. Although she said her career in competitive golf is almost over, she said she looks forward to playing for fun.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.