BANGOR, Maine -&nbspAlexa Rancourt remembers her first experience in the Women’ s Maine State Golf Association Championship two years ago, when she watched multiple champions like Pennie Cummings and Martha White, wishing she could be in their golf shoes.

“I saw the leaders coming in on the last day with everybody watching and I was like ‘ Wow, I really want to be there.’ I love having an audience out there and being on stage,” the 17-year-old South Portland native recalled.

Rancourt now finds herself front and center on that stage after shooting a second straight 74 in the second round of the WMSGA Championship at Bangor Municipal Golf Course Tuesday to take possession of the overall lead at 6-over-par 148 with one round to go.

Opening-round leader Cummings, who wound up winning that 2006 tourney that Rancourt witnessed and who carded a 72 Monday, shot an 80 Tuesday and is now four strokes back in second place.

“I was consistently poor around and on the greens today, and it was my strength yesterday,” Cummings said.

“I think the greens rolled a little bit faster for me today than yesterday, but when you start out putting well, you get momentum going and when the reverse occurs, like today, it’ s sort of a spiral in the other direction. I just couldn’ t seem to make it happen.”

Fellow Sable Oaks Golf Club member Kathi O’ Grady (79) sits nine strokes behind Rancourt in third place at 157. Young guns Whitney Hand of Bucksport and Kate Merrill of Toddy Brook Golf Course in North Yarmouth are tied for fourth at 158 each.

“I had a great first nine, being just one over,” said O’ Grady. “I was more consistent yesterday at 39-39, but today I was 37 and 42. Still I was happy with the way I played.”

This is O’ Grady’ s 10th WMSGA Championship, but it’ s her best performance so far.

“I made an adjustment to use an extra club each time once I saw we were getting no roll and I stuck with that today until I was proven wrong,” she said. “The back played a little easier and the front seemed to play a lot harder. It was playing very long. The pins were in some challenging places too.”

Hand improved her score (78) by just two strokes from yesterday, but said it felt like night and day on the greens.

“I just didn’ t have any confidence yesterday, even though I hit the ball better,” Hand said. “Yesterday I wasn’ t putting well. I switched putters today and I think that helped me. I went from a mallet two-ball to a blade two-ball, which is a lot lighter. I birdied the first hole today, but then I bogeyed the second. Still I was much more confident today.”

Thirteen-time WMSGA champ Martha White of Hermon went from 79 Monday to 80 Tuesday.

“I was one shot worse, but I felt better about my game,” White said. “I think I feel that way because I was so miserable on the front yesterday. A 43 is very uncharacteristic for me.”

Rancourt intended to play in the WMSGA Championship last year, but she and her father missed the registration deadline.

“We had a little mishap last year. I think that kind of just drove me to play better this year because I didn’ t get to show my stuff last year,” she saod. “We made sure we got it in this year!”

And she’ s making up for lost time.

“It was awesome playing with Pennie today and I played with her sister yesterday,” said Rancourt, who attends school in Bradenton, Fla., and lives in Maine over the summer. “I remember two years ago I was watching them play and wanting to come out and play. That was probably the biggest tournament I’ d ever played in.”

And how did she shoot that first time?

“Honestly I don’ t know,” Rancourt said. “I know one day I shot 91 and was in the low to mid 80s the other two.”

What a difference a couple of years makes.