COLUMBUS, Ohio — Senior Lisa McCloskey took over the individual lead while sophomore Sophia Popov moved into fifth — each on the power of 4-under rounds — as No. 3 USC extended its first place lead after the second day of the 2012 NCAA Central Regional on Friday.
USC, seeded No. 1 in the Central Regional, began play with a one-stroke lead but returned to the clubhouse with a 12-shot cushion, finishing play at 12-over 588 (298-290). Vanderbilt moved into second at 24-over 600 and is followed in the top eight by Virginia (604), Purdue and Oregon (308), Auburn (601), North Carolina State (611) and Ohio State (612).
The top eight teams from the NCAA West, Central and East Regionals plus two individuals from each field will advance to the championship round.
The Trojans have won seven NCAA regionals, including two in a row and in five of the past six seasons, and are closing in on their NCAA-leading eighth.
McCloskey registered 2-under front and back 9s with five birdies overall to move into first place as she seeks her first career win as a Trojan and her eighth top-10 finish this year.
Popov, after a first-round 78, bounced back with a 68 to move into fifth at 2-over 146 (78-76). Her second round featured 2-under front and back 9s as well, with five birdies overall. She is after her fifth top 8 this year.
Freshman Doris Chen, the 2012 Pac-12 individual winner, is 12th at 5-over 149 (72-77), senior Inah Park is tied for 33rd at 9-over 153 (75-78) while sophomore Rachel Morris is tied for 47th at 12-over 156 (79-77).