MADISON, Wis. — Vanderbilt used an impressive rally to defeat nationally ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater and went on to complete its second consecutive unbeaten day at the Warhawk Classic Saturday.
The consistent Commodores, now 10-0 in this event, extended their pin count lead over host Whitewater to 565 pins as all five of their games passed the 1,000-pin plateau. In addition to the victory over the 20th ranked Warhawks, Vandy prevailed over Augustana, Carroll, Marian and Kentucky Wesleyan—the last three matches being five-game Baker sets.
“We have been able to use this tournament to give lots of people some experience,” head coach John Williamson said. “We had some important shots and other moments you can’t replicate in practice. This tournament has been exactly what we wanted it to be so far.”
The traditional match with Whitewater and a later Baker victory over Division II/III ranked Marian were the features of the day.
A Commodore rotation of Haley Lindley, Alyssa Ballard, Kaylee Hitt, Caroline Thesier and Paige Peters trailed the determined Warhawks after seven frames but the match began to turn with a torrid barrage of Vandy strikes in the eighth and then ninth frames.
With the match in question, Lindley closed with five strikes in a row; minutes later, Hitt equaled that accomplishment. Thesier tacked on four bullseyes in the last five frames to take the heat off Peters in the anchor spot. The final score was a deceptive 1,030-1,001.
The Baker game with Marian was a fun one for Vanderbilt fans. Using a new rotation of Kailee Channell, Amanda Naujokas, Natalie Kent, Victoria Varano and Peters, the No. 1 ranked Dores went from warm to sizzling, finishing with games of 267 and 246. They had six strikes in a row in the fourth game and seven straight in the fifth game.
Most noticeable in that strike assault was the power at the front of the rotation. Channell and Naujokas each had nine bingos in 10 tries, often followed by a Kent strike. The final tally was 1,103-949. Williamson noted Channell and Naujokas “did a good job of feeding off each other.”
Vanderbilt, wearing pink jerseys during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, once again bowled its entire 10-woman roster as the Commodore staff experimented with a variety of lineups and rotations.
“I thought we played the Bakers pretty well,” Williamson said. “It can be hard to maintain consistency when we are shuffling people in and out of the rotation but we threw a lot of strikes.”
“If there is one thing I found annoying is that we missed some single pin spare shots,” Williamson said. “I think converting single pins is more mental than physical so we don’t seem to be separating our first shot from our second. But we did do a better job of controlling the pocket and leaving easier spare conversions for the most part.”
Play resumes Sunday at 8:30 a.m. with Vandy facing Aurora in a five-game baker match. Action is livestreamed on Vanderbilt’s YouTube site. The championship will be determined by total pin fall over the three days.