Bowlers earn Music City's No. 2 seed
SMYRNA, Tenn. - Vanderbilt had a dominating run for nearly two days but a late Saturday hiccup dropped the Commodores into the No. 2 seeded position behind Maryland-Eastern Shore at the Columbia 300 Music City Classic.
The Commodores and the Hawks will square off Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. in a best-of-seven Baker format with the winner gaining an automatic berth in the championship game while the loser will get dropped into another round of games.
Vanderbilt had a seemingly commanding lead of 225 pins after adding Saturday's first four games with yesterday's six Baker matches but that's when things began to unravel. The Commodores faced a Tulane team that frankly didn't pose a big threat and while Vandy prevailed in the game, the anemic winning pin count of 889 allowed UMES to gain over 200 pins, which was then lost in the sixth and final game.
The day's sixth game for Vandy also spoiled its undefeated status as a St. Francis College team that stood 15th in the pin fall count but had managed to win all but two of its game pulled the upset, winning 1,010-983.
While there was no great harm done in losing the No. 1 seed since the top two face each other anyway, the sputtering ending left the `Dores with a sour taste.
"I thought it was a decent day until that fifth game took away our momentum and we couldn't really find it back," said sophomore Natalie Goodman. "We had some good things individually during the day; I thought Tori started out great and both Robyn and Jess had some big games that were essential. But I'm a little disappointed because we fought so hard all day and to lose that last game when we were trying to go unbeaten for the seniors was kind of hard to take."
Arkansas State finished the two long days in third place and No. 1 rated Nebraska was fourth, just ahead of hard-charging Fairleigh Dickinson to complete the top end of the title bracket and making for a foursome of NCAA bowling heavyweights.
Central Missouri's Natalie Jimenez won the individual championship. The all-tournament team will be announced at the completion of the tournament. Vanderbilt's pin leader was Jessica Earnest, who placed eighth.
Action gets underway at 8:30 a.m. and is being streamed by bowl.com.