Oklahoma Baptist University locked up another area golfer on Monday.

Oklahoma Baptist University locked up another area golfer on Monday.

The Bison made Plainview senior Ashton Gores the first signing of their 2011-12 recruiting class, as the two-time Ardmoreite Girls Golfer of the Year made her decision official at the Plainview High School library.

Gores, who placed third at the Class 3A state tournament at Dornick Hills in May, chose OBU after receiving interest from Coastal Carolina and various small schools in Florida. She’ll join 2010 Madill graduate Sarah Codner in Shawnee.

“This helps me relax and focus on playing better rather than playing for stats,” Gores said of getting her decision out of the way. “OBU had the total package. When I went on a visit, that’s when I decided it felt right. I’ll have great teammates I know and I love the coach.”

OBU coach Mike Manlapig has been in contact with Gores for more than a year, and took the opportunity to see her play in the state championship. Manlapig coached OBU to a fifth-place finish in the NAIA Sooner Athletic Conference in 2010-11.

Gores is the first of what Manlapig expects to be an incoming class of three to four players.

“First, I like how she handles herself on and off the golf course,” Manlapig said Monday. “That helps because golf has a lot of ups and downs. Second is her ablilty to get the ball in the hole. She’s getting better and better and will be a great asset to the team next year.”

Gores has been the No. 1 player for the Indians for two seasons. She’s placed in the top 10 at state in back-to-back years and finished no lower than third in any tournament as a junior.

“With her I’ve litterally seen her growth almost every time she gets on the course,” Plainview coach Andy Bloodworth said. “Her work ethic is second to none. Whether it’s physically or mentally, her game in the two years I’ve known her has grown exponentially.”

Erik K. Horne