Nebraska women come from behind to win Columbia 300 Music City Invitational


    Collegiate Women's Bowling

    Vanderbilt shoots the first perfect game in the seven-year history of the tournament

    20110320NebraskaWomenHuskers.jpgLincolnNebraskaLogo2.jpgThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln women's bowling team (pictured) bowled its way to a first-place finish at the Columbia 300 Music City Invitational in Nashville, TN.

    The Huskers navigated Friday and Saturday's field and qualified for Sunday's best four-of-seven finals as the No. 4 seed, along with Fairleigh Dickinson, Vanderbilt and Central Missouri.

    Nebraska started Sunday's finals against third-seed Central Missouri, who the Huskers swept 4-0, shooting a high on 925 for those four games. Nebraska then had to take on No. 2 seed Vanderbilt. The NU women bowlers meant business again, ousting the Commodores, 4-1, to take on top-seeded Fairleigh Dickinson for the Championship. The final best-of-seven Baker series for the tournament championship saw Nebraska face off with Fairleigh Dickinson in a rematch of the 2010 NCAA Championship.

    This time, though, the Huskers avenged their NCAA loss, 4-1. Nebraska was down 0-1 before they surged back to win the next four baker games and with that the Columbia 300 Music City Invitational.

    Danielle McEwan of FDU had the highest individual average on Saturday (228) and was joined by teammate Joely Carrillo (217), Katie Ann Sopp of Nebraska (216), Natalie Jimenez of Central Missouri (215), Samantha Hesley of Vanderbilt (213), two Sacred Heart bowlers, Nicole Trudell (210) and Savannah Zientara (210).

    Nebraska's Danielle van der Meer had the tourney's high game at 268 (210) and rounding out the top 10 were in ninth Emily Fravel from Arkansas (210) and Brittni Hamilton from Vanderbilt (207).

    The defending champion Commodores had a rough outing, dropping all three of their matches on Sunday when it seemed what could go wrong did. There was one perfect exception.

    Bowling against Central Missouri and down 2 games to none, it appeared the Commodores had enough and rattled off nine straight strikes, the chance for a lasting memory in the capable hands of its anchor, Samantha Hesley.

    The junior, who had her share of tough sledding earlier in the day, was deliberate in notching first one strike, then a second. With many eyes in the Smyrna Bowling Center on Lane 20, Hesley calmly nailed the final strike and gave Vanderbilt its second ever perfect game, with fans from all schools celebrating the rare achievement.

    VU's first 300 came at the 2007 NCAA Championship. It was also the first perfect game in the seven-year history of the tournament.

    All teams now await the NCAA's March 30 announcement on the eight programs that will advance to Detroit for the NCAA Championship in mid-April.


    Columbia 300 Music City Invitational

    Smyrna Bowling Center in Nashville, Tenn. (March 18-20, 2011)

    Championship Round:
    1. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    2. Fairleigh Dickinson University
    3. University of Central Missouri
    4. Vanderbilt University

    Playoff Results:
    First Round:
    #1 Fairleigh Dickinson def. #2 Vanderbilt , 4-1
    222-224, 169-144, 192-149, 170-167, 209-201
    #4 Nebraska def. #3 Central-Missouri, 4-0
    253-191, 233-208, 191-188, 248-224

    Second Round:
    Nebraska def. Vanderbilt , 4-1
    215-194, 183-224, 203-182, 177-169, 214-208

    Third Round:
    Championship: Nebraska def. Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-1
    213-221, 248-200, 193-187, 202-180, 255-228
    Roll-off for third place:
    Central-Missouri def. Vanderbilt, 4-1
    204-201, 242-219, 173-300, 199-179, 210-171.


    Final Standings - Places 5-20

    5th place - Arkansas State
    6th place - Sacred Heart
    7th place - Kutztown
    8th place - Sam Houston
    9th place - Stephen F. Austin
    10th place - Adelphi\
    11th place - Wisconsin Whitewater
    12th place - Saint Francis (ny)
    13th place - Alabama A & M
    14th place - Jackson State
    15th place - Minnesota State
    16th place - Louisiana Tech
    17th place - Monmouth
    18th place - Valparaiso
    19th place - Southern
    20th place - Texas Southern


    Standings after 12 games (1-6 Baker, 7-12 traditional)


    Standings after six Baker games


    Individual (traditional) - Players with six games only