Chesterton junior Taryn Trusty didn't think she could play any worse after she carded a 110 at the Valparaiso Sectional.
A week later, the Trojans' No. 4 golfer was in a much better mood. Trusty finished with a much-needed 93 at the Lafayette Jeff Regional to help the team make a return trip to the IHSAA state finals.
"I was really excited," Trusty said. "It was definitely a confidence booster."
Chesterton coach Dale Hewitt believes Trusty's round was the key to this recent state trip. Kelly Grassel, the defending state medalist, struggled with an 80, while teammates Marissa Kroeger (90) and Nicole Dutz (93) also came in with higher-than-expected scores.
"She was pivotal," said Hewitt, whose Trojans edged Lake Central 356-361 for the final state qualifying spot. "If (Trusty) would have played poorly, we might not be going.
"I always say that it takes a team to win, and it was proven here. She saved us."
Just a week prior she struggled with the playing conditions at Valparaiso Country Club, site of the sectional.
"The greens were so tough there," Trusty said. "I couldn't putt to save my life."
The conditions at the Battle Ground weren't calm with a gusting 30 mph wind working against most of the distance shots. In Trusty's case, her game was more suited for this situation.
"I don't really hit it (off the tee) very far," Trusty said. "People that hit it far had their shots taken left or right. It might take me more shots to get to the green, but I wasn't worrying about going out of bounds."
Trusty was also fueled by a guilty feeling about her sectional round, ecstatic that she was able to pick the team up this time.
"I knew they were disappointed with my play at the sectional," Trusty said. "I felt bad for the rest of the team (at regional), but it was great to help the team move onto state.
"We always rely on Kelly to shoot under par and Marissa and Nicole usually have solid scores, so it felt great to feel that they counted on me to have a good score."
Trusty, who started playing golf when she was 2 years old, will be making her first appearance in the state finals with Friday's round at the Legends of Indiana Golf Course in Franklin.
New this year, all teams and players will take part in both rounds. Trusty believes that could calm her nerves to a point.
"I think it will help, because now we won't have to wait and see if we play the second day," said Trusty, whose season-low score is an 87. "The is still pressure there, because I know I'm going to have to play even better."