Chris Graddy, Assistant Director for Media Relations
JONESBORO – The top-seeded Arkansas State women’s bowling team advanced to the semifinals of the Southland Bowling League Championship with a pair of victories over No. 8 La Tech and No. 4 Monmouth Friday afternoon at Hijinx Family Entertainment Center.
A-State will face No. 3 Vanderbilt in the semifinals Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship match. The loser will fall the elimination bracket and will play at 5 p.m. Saturday night for the right to play in the finals.
The event, which is using a tournament format that consists of new best-of-3 format in which teams must bowl a traditional match, a baker match and then a best-of-7 baker match if necessary, got underway Friday morning with the Red Wolves rolling a tournament high 1,014 against La Tech in the opening round to take a 1-0 lead in the series. A-State followed with a 948-780 victory over the Lady Techsters to advance to the quarterfinal round.
Against the Hawks, A-State captured a 953-920 win despite trailing after the first eight frames of the match. Monmouth bounced back however, and earned a 949-852 win in the baker format to force the decisive best-of-7 baker match.
Monmouth took an early 1-0 lead with a 178-157 win in the first game, but the Red Wolves responded with four straight victories, which included three straight games with scores over 240 to take the win. The rally began with a 254-182 win in game two and followed with victories of 245-190, 247-222 and 198-191.
“We did a really good job of bowling on the lanes where the pattern was in our favor, but we need to do a better job of bowling on the lanes where the pattern is more difficult,” A-State bowling coach Justin Kostick said. “It was a great effort by the team to battle in a tough match against Monmouth and Nicole (Makaelien) really stepped up big for us today and gave us some great frames in key spots.”
Makaelien bowled scores of 213 and 203 in each of Arkansas State’s traditional format matches, while Haley Richard turned in scores of 221 and 223, each of which ranked among the top-5 highest individual totals on the day.
In addition, A-State’s team baker score of 233 against Monmouth in the five-game Baker match ranked as the third highest total of the day, trailing only Monmouth (236) and Vanderbilt (258).
The second day of the tournament will get underway Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with a pair of elimination bracket matches. The event will be streamed live on InsideBowling.com.