Nov. 9, 2012
VALPARAISO, IN---Vanderbilt's bowlers started fast but didn't maintain the pace at the Crusader Classic and were in fourth place heading into Saturday's team games.
The fourth-ranked Commodores won three of their five, four-set Baker games, bowing to second-ranked Arkansas State and getting upset in the very next game by Prairie View by 13 pins. Vanderbilt's total of 4,979 total pins trails first place Arkansas State (5,166), Central Missouri (5,127) and Nebraska (5,099.
"We realize that we had some opening jitters," Coach John Williamson said afterwards. "We had some people trying to do more than they needed to do. We will have about 110 more games this year and when you play that many games, not every one will produce a positive result."
The Commodores opened strong with a lineup of Amanda Fry, Sarah O'Brien, Nicole Mosesso, Robyn Renslow and Jessica Earnest. That unit had two straight scores north of 1,000 but Arkansas State went off the chart with an 1,124 total.
Natalie Goodman was inserted for O'Brien in the Prairie View game, one in which Vandy made a couple of early errors and got behind. The Commodores rallied in game 3 with a 245 score but PV sensed an upset and matched the score. In the fourth game, VU rallied from 37 pins down but could not get over the hump.
Commodore veterans have gotten accustomed to getting an opponent's best over the years and this seemed to be the case. The Panthers notched 1,062 pins against Vanderbilt after netting just 871 in their prior match and not reaching 900 the rest of the day.
Vanderbilt used four freshman and a sophomore in stopping Cheyney in game 4 (Fry, Olivia Wirtz, Goodman, Tori Ferris and Renslow) and closed against Wisconsin-Whitewater with a lineup of Fry, Ferris, Mosesso, Renslow and Earnest, who had to strike out in the tenth frame to win by a scant five pins.
Williamson noted that virtually every Commodore is getting adjusted to a new position in the lineup.
"We are a work in progress, not a finished product," he said.
Saturday's action begins at 9:30 CT with five team games. The Sunday bracket will be compiled based on total pins during the first two days.
Team Leaders (10 teams competing)
Arkansas State 5,166
Central Missouri 5,127
Vanderbilt Results (4-game Bakers)
Vanderbilt 1,057 Elmhurst 843
Arkansas State 1,124 Vanderbilt 1,021
Prairie View 1,062 Vanderbilt 1,049
Vanderbilt 915 Cheyney 704
Vanderbilt 937 Whitewater 932