World golf number one Lydia Ko has made the cut with a three-under par second round 68 at the latest LPGA tour event in Virginia.
The 19 year-old climbed from 81st into a tie for 37th at one-under par for the Williamsburg tournament, six strokes behind the leader.
South Korea's Ryu So-yeon, propelled by six birdies in her first nine holes, seized a one-stroke lead.
Seeking her fourth LPGA victory, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion fired a seven-under-par 64 on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort after engaging in a low-scoring fest with her playing competitor Stacy Lewis.
Ryu, who has recorded three top-10s in nine starts on the LPGA Tour this season without notching a win, racked up eight birdies and a lone bogey to post a seven-under total of 135.
American world number four Lewis was a further stroke back after carding a five-birdie 66, ending the day level with first-round leader Mika Miyazato of Japan (71) and South Korean Amy Yang (67).
"It's really fun to play with someone consistently making birdies," Ryu told reporters after a mutually inspirational round in the company of Lewis. "Also we're not really competing with each other, we're just really supportive of each other.
"Even when we have a bad shot, we keep talking to the ball, 'stay there' or just 'keep up'. It was really fun to play with Stacy."
Ryu, who has not triumphed on the LPGA Tour since the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women's Open, said she had gained confidence in recent weeks after making a few swing changes earlier in the year.
"Since Hawaii (last month's Lotte Championship in Honolulu), I have really played really well," said the 25-year-old Korean. "I always feel I'm ready to play well, I'm ready to win a tournament, but (before) I couldn't get enough confidence.
"That was the reason why I couldn't really finish well. These days, what I'm really focused on is getting back my confidence. I really enjoy this tournament ... I can do this. I'm just going to keep talking to myself like that."
Defending champion Minjee Lee of Australia will head into Saturday's third round just two strokes off the pace after carding a 71.