Ashley Belden, the 2006 New Mexico Bowler of the Year, has agreed to attend Vanderbilt University according to Head Coach John Williamson.
"There are a number of reasons why Ashley Belden impressed us during the recruiting process," Williamson says. "The first thing you notice is that she has been a highly successful all-around athlete in high school, which works in her favor. We believe that when she concentrates on just bowling she will show a significant jump in her average. In addition to having a sturdy bowling foundation, she is an excellent softball player, an outstanding student and has leadership ability as evidenced by being the Senior Class president. Above all, she really wants to join us at Vanderbilt and we believe she will make significant contributions to our future success."
Belden, who resides in Tijeras, N.M. and attended East Mountain High School, won first place at a PBA Pro-Am this January and won another title in March at the BRC South Plains event. In addition to her state bowler of the year award, she was also the 2006 New Mexico State Female Open Division champion.
Belden carries about a 180 average with a high game of 278 and a high series of 708. She has 21 games over 200 and eight series in excess of 600.
She was also the softball team captain her junior and senior years and was a four-year starter. Belden was the team's offensive player of the year as a sophomore and defensive player of the year as a junior. She pitched her school's first no-hitter as a senior. She also lettered once on the basketball team.
Belden becomes the second and likely final member of this fall's freshman bowling class. The Commodores signed Josie Earnest of Vandalia, Ill., last November.