Jan. 12, 2013
JONESBORO, Ark. -- Vanderbilt returned to steady ways and the improvement was rewarded with a spot in Sunday's title bracket at the Mid-Winter Classic.
The Commodores went just 3-2 during the traditional team games but climbed into third place in this 16-team field and will face recent nemesis Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semi-finals. First place Central Missouri and second place Nebraska square off in the other semi. Host Arkansas State missed the championship bracket to illustrate the depth of quality at this event.
During the day, Vanderbilt topped Texas Southern, Alabama State and Prairie View and lost high-end matches to Central Missouri and host Arkansas State, who got a torrid 279 from Sarah Lokker.
"We were much more consistent today," said Coach John Williamson, "more like we finished last semester. We had good games with Central and Arkansas State and we had our chances in both. We lost the Central game in the first five frames with a slow start but I was pleased with our strong finish. Against Arkansas (State) we were able to withstand several of their runs but we made a few critical errors at the wrong time and couldn't take advantage of four doubles heading into the tenth frame."
Vanderbilt's consistency was underscored by individual standings. Although no Commodore was in the top seven of individual standings, Natalie Goodman was eighth, Jessica Earnest ninth and Robyn Renslow tenth.
Vanderbilt should be well aware of Wisconsin-Whitewater's Sunday potential. The ninth-rated Warhawks have beaten the Commodores the last two Sunday meetings, both by 4-3 margins.
Central Missouri's leading pin count was 10,289 with Nebraska (10.043), VU (9,974) and Whitewater (9,868) falling in behind.