Bowlers leading Mid-Winter Classic

Jan. 14, 2011

CABOT, Ark. — Vanderbilt’s strong Baker performance propelled the Commodores into the Day 1 lead of Arkansas State’s Mid-Winter Classic. Trailing Vanderbilt on the leader board were, in order, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Central Missouri and Nebraska.

The Commodores went 4-1 on the day, defeating Top 5 rated foes Sam Houston State and Nebraska along with Texas Southern and Louisiana Tech. The Black and Gold dropped a disappointing opening game to Central Missouri, letting an early 52 pin lead fade and then losing a 12 pin advantage in the fifth and final Baker game.

“Other than the end of the Central game I thought we performed well all day,” said Coach John Williamson. “The lane conditions were very difficult, there were only five 1,000 games the entire day and four of them were late in the afternoon. They were tighter than we might normally see and we did a nice job of breaking down the lanes and playing as a team. I was pleased with our spare conversion.”

Those remarks were echoed by junior All-American Brittni Hamilton, who started the day in the fourth spot of the rotation but moved into the lead-off after the first game.

“We all had good days but I thought Amanda Halter really gave us a big lift,” Hamilton said. “She came in after the first game and struck a lot, picked up her spares and was a real key to what was our best day of the season so far. We were clicking as a team — communicating well and doing a real good job making spares, especially after the first game.”

Hamilton, who last week won a berth on Team USA, said the wins over Sam Houston and Nebraska were helpful in more ways than one.

“Those games helped us regain our confidence,” she said. “This gets our spring semester off to the good start we were looking for.”

Vanderbilt’s line-up in the opener was Jessica Earnest, Kayla Rhoades, Ellen Morrison, Brittni Hamilton and Samantha Hesley. For the remaining four games, the lineup became Hamilton, Halter, Rhoades, Earnest and Hesley.

Five team games are on tap for Saturday with host Arkansas State and UMES among the scheduled opponents.

Vanderbilt’s Baker Action
Central Missouri 898, VU 865
VU 1,000, Sam Houston State 902
VU 937, Texas Southern 838
VU 924, Louisiana Tech 832
VU 995, Nebraska 932