KENDALLVILLE – Carroll junior Marissa GeRue has been a sectional medalist before – she shot 75 to best the field as a sophomore in 2021.

But defending her title with an even-par 72 at the East Noble Sectional at Cobblestone on Friday and leading her Chargers to a second straight sectional title was particularly sweet for GeRue, especially after a season of battling knee, back and wrist pain.

“I’m really happy with it. It’s unbelievable, honestly. Going into this week I was having a little bit more trouble with my injuries, and last night we really worked on loosening up the muscles,” GeRue said. “To be able to come out and play the way I did – I’m happy.”

GeRue, who played in the second-to-last group of the day, finished her round with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes.

“I was 60 yards out on 17 and stuck it to about two, three feet,” GeRue said. “And then on 18, my drive was 175 yards out, and I hit a 5-iron up and it just rolled down the crest of the hill. I chipped off to about a foot and put it in from there.”

Paced by GeRue’s 72, the Chargers shot 315 as a team. Freshman Taylor Larkins had a frustrating end to her round, carding an eight on the par-5 18th, but she still finished second with a 77 and was the only player aside from GeRue to break 80. Maggie Carr placed fourth with an 81, Gaby Frick shot an 85, and Natalie Winter shot 91 from the No. 5 spot.

“We’ve got a few things that we need to fine-tune, but other than that it was a very good day,” Carroll coach Bryan Koehlinger said. “All the girls, they really did perform today. Even our No. 5 (Winter), she had her best round of the season, as well. I was happy to see that she could give us that support. If someone doesn’t have a good day, we have some backup.”

Northridge finished second with a team score of 346, and Concord was third with 373. Both will advance along with the Chargers to the East Noble Regional at Noble Hawk on Friday.

Westview’s Hope Haarer was the top individual without an advancing team, shooting an 80, and West Noble senior Mackensy Mabie will also advance after an 83.

Fairfield teammates Bailey Willard and Addison Mast each shot 87, but Willard won the playoff for the final individual qualifying spot.

Mabie said she wouldn’t have dreamed that her senior season would continue for another week after the first few holes Friday.

“I was upset about it in the moment, honestly, because I started off kind of rocky. I had a triple-bogey on hole 3, which is a par 3, so I had an eight,” Mabie said. “After that, I was not the happiest, at all, but I had a birdie later that made up for it, and I started to figure stuff out.”

West Noble finished seventh with a score of 419, and Churubusco was eighth at 424, led by Zoie Tonkel and Emma Walters, who both shot 101. East Noble was 10th, led by Gracie Shoof’s 99.