The Dublin Coffman High School girls golf team increased its depth by just enough this season to make a huge difference.

The Dublin Coffman High School girls golf team increased its depth by just enough this season to make a huge difference.

Although seniors Lauren Stephens and Sarah McQuade had nearly the same stroke averages as a year ago when the Shamrocks came up short of winning the OCC-Capital Division and advancing to the Division I state tournament, contributions by a pair of newcomers helped them reach both goals this season.

After going 24-0 to win the conference, Coffman survived a tight district to advance to last weekend's state tournament on Ohio State's Gray Course.

The Shamrocks completed what they deemed an enjoyable run by finishing seventh last Saturday with a 661 - six strokes ahead of the eighth-place finisher, district champion Watterson (667).

"It was that our younger players came through," coach Cindy Young said. "We had two really good freshmen this year, and that completely changed our team score. Now somebody's allowed to have a bad day and our team score could still remain consistent. With our No. 5 player capable of shooting in the 80s, our team score still stayed low."

Coffman trailed Watterson by two strokes and was in eighth with a 337 after the first round last Friday, but it bounced back with a 324 last Saturday.

Stephens led the way last Saturday with a 7-over-par 79 that gave her a two-day total of 162, as she tied for 24th with five others in the 72-player field. Mason senior Emily Wright carded a 142 to capture medalist honors and lead her team to its third consecutive state team title. The Comets shot a record 611 to shatter the former mark of 630 that was set by Coffman in 2000 and matched by Mason in 2008.

The Shamrocks, who were making their first state appearance since making five in a row from 1999-2003, also got strong rounds both days from McQuade (163) and freshman Kylie Raines (164). McQuade tied for 30th and Raines tied for 32nd.

Last Saturday, Stephens was followed by Raines (80), McQuade (81), junior Sabre Adkins (84) and freshman Charley Benefield (85). Benefield finished with a two-day total of 173, and Adkins came in with a 175.

"It was a little overwhelming at first, but I'm really happy with how we came back (last Saturday) and that I got to do it as a senior," McQuade said. "Lauren and I had more experience this year, and we added two freshmen that were pretty consistent. We pulled it together at district and just got it done."

"I've played (on OSU's Gray Course) a lot in the past, but it's been awhile since I played here, so it took awhile to get used to the greens again," said Stephens, who has verbally committed to play for the University of Toledo. "We've come close to getting here the last three years, so to do it as a senior is a good memory."

In the conference, Coffman finished ahead of 2009 champion Marysville (20-4) as well as Worthington Kilbourne (14-10), Westerville North (11-13), Hilliard Bradley (9-15), Westerville Central (5-19) and Westerville South (1-23).

The Shamrocks then won the sectional Oct. 5 at Raymond Memorial with a 330, topping a field that also included district-qualifiers Marysville (335) and Gahanna (343). Coffman wasn't pleased with its performance that day, however, considering its best score this season came Aug. 17 when it shot 311 at the same site.

The Shamrocks also were disappointed when they finished seventh of 11 teams with a 350 at the Bent Tree Fall Classic on Oct. 9, as five central Ohio teams finished ahead of them.

At the district tournament Oct. 12 at Bent Tree, however, Coffman turned in a 332 that gave it the second state-qualifying berth behind Watterson (330). Dublin Jerome also shot a 332, but the Shamrocks won the tiebreaker by having a lower fifth-player score.

Despite graduating its top two players, Coffman should be strong again next year after its junior varsity team had each of its top five players average between 48 and 53, according to Young.

"I thought we did great," Young said. "I'm thrilled for my two seniors, and even better yet is that we had two players score at the state meet as freshmen. Kylie was my No. 3 player for most of the year, and she's becoming a really strong player."

Sarah McQuade shot an 82-81-163 last Friday and Saturday during the Division I state tournament at Ohio State's Gray Course.

Lauren Stephens led the Shamrocks to a seventh-place finish by carding an 83-79-162.