"I'm pretty happy with the round I pulled out today," the Fulton, Miss., native said. "I didn't really hit it close, but I was able to take advantage of the holes I needed. I know as a team we left some shots out there, but we worked it out and are excited to make up shots tomorrow to put us in position for the last round."
McDonald has now posted a 69 five times in her career, with four of those coming this season. She last turned in a 3-under card in the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown when she claimed her first-career event title to end the fall. The 69 also ties for the second-lowest opening round in MSU history.
"Ally had a tremendous day with her 69," Brown-Lemm said. "She has nice start to her spring thus far. Going forward over the next two days, she has enough confidence in her swing to get her second win in the last three tournaments"
The Lady Bulldogs share the fifth spot with Kennesaw State and are only seven strokes back of tournament-leaders No. 36 Campbell and Elon. MSU struggled early, going 8-over-par on the first nine holes but regrouped for only a 4-over on the back nine.
"We were a bit sluggish to start the day," MSU head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. "We are in a good position to rebound tomorrow and have the chance to move up the leaderboard. On this golf course, we must play better over the next two rounds."
Competing as an individual, freshman Logan Chaney turned in an 82.
Second-round action begins Saturday at 7 a.m. CST with the Lady Bulldogs slated to tee off along side Kennesaw State and James Madison at 7:40 a.m.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com. Fans can also follow the women's golf program on Twitter, @mstateWG, and on Facebook at facebook.com/mstateWG.
First Round - March 8, 2013
T1. No. 36 Campbell (293, +5); T1. Elon (293, +5); 3. Old Dominion (296, +8); 4. James Madison (297, +9); T5. Mississippi State (300, +12); T5. Kennesaw State (300, +12); 7. Georgia State (301, +13); T8. Stetson (302, +14); T8. East Carolina (302, +14); T8. Chattanooga (302=, +14); 11. East Tennessee State (304, +16); 12. Samford (305, +17); 13. Jacksonville (308, +20); 14. North Florida (312, +24); 15. UNC-Wilmington (313, +25); 16. Morehead State (314, +26); 17. Western Carolina (317, +29).
T86. Logan Chaney 82, +10*
*Competing as an individual