July 29, 2012
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FLORENCE -- Vanderbilt in general and Natalie Goodman in particular dominated the Friendship Games with the Italian National Team that ended early afternoon Sunday.
The powerful Commodore team nearly swept all categories as it easily out-distanced the Italian National Team, going 1-2 in singles, sweeping doubles and dominating the triage. Team-wise Vanderbilt was far ahead of their friendly rivals.
Goodman, to nobody's surprise, won the all-around category, which is a combination of all events. She won singles with Brittni Hamilton second, she teamed with Jessica Earnest to win doubles and was a big factor in the triage Sunday.
For college bowling fans, the international triage games are different and interesting. In teams of three, bowlers are designated by number and they compete against their direct opponent. Pin fall matters and the winner of the head-to-head also scores 20 bonus pins. The composite team winner adds 50 bonus pins.
The Commodores looked powerful through the morning and nearly every 'Dore had her moment.
The entire team shook off the 9 p.m. to midnight, three course (with multiple layers!) Saturday night dinner graciously hosted by the Italians and came out strong. Might this be a new training ritual? Doubtful.
The strongest was Lauren Rhein, who had people buzzing when she began strike-spare and then rattled off seven strikes in succession en route to a nifty 256. Jessica Earnest and Natalie Goodman's 234s weren't too shabby and Rebeca Reguero bounced back from a tough first day with a steady 214.
In Game 2, the fun was with the triage team of Earnest, Kim Carper and Nicole Mosesso, who put the hammer down with respective scores of 267, 254 and 204. Earnest spared in the second, her only blemish until her 11th ball only took down nine pins.
Game 3 saw the Sarah O'Brien-Rhein-Goodman steam-roller continue to fill frames. In fact, led by Goodman's 258 and Rhein's third straight 200-plus game, the trio combined to have just one open frame the entire event.
After the bowling ended, the Olympic-style victory stand was erected to present the top place-winners and later the teams exchanged gifts.
Vanderbilt gave the Italians an elegant, engraved silver tray and each participant gave their counterpart specially made slippers that slide over bowling shoes. The slippers are sewn by Nancy Hamilton -- Brittni's mother -- and were a big hit with the Italians.
"We treated this more as an international experience more than a competition," Coach John Williamson said afterwards, "and the girls took away something most people in our sport don't get to experience. It was an amazing opportunity and the Italians were very hospitable."
Vanderbilt's triage pairings
Photos: The Commodores enjoyed a traditional Italian family meal with the Italian National Team Saturday night.