BATON ROUGE, La. (Press Release)– Stephen F. Austin's title defense came to a close Friday evening as the Ladyjacks bowed out of the 2017 NCAA Bowling Championships following losses to Arkansas State and Maryland-Eastern Shore. SFA went 1-3 over Friday's matches, including an 0-2 mark in the double elimination championship bracket.
In the individual standings, junior Kelsi Anderson finished sixth overall with a 212.0 average, including a career-best 277 in round one. Senior Paige Kraushaar placed 11th with a 209.1 average with junior Stephanie Schwartz sitting 21st overall at 198.3.
SFA finished the qualifying round with a 4-3 mark and earned the number three seed, but dropped both of its best-of-seven championship bracket matches in heartbreaking fashion, dropping seven-game decisions to both Arkansas State and Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Match Six: SFA 1,037, Sam Houston State 931
Friday morning began with the latest installment of the Battle of the Piney Woods as SFA notched a convincing 1,037-931 victory over the rival Bearkats. Coming off her strong play yesterday, Kelsi Anderson continued to thrive on the NCAA Championship lanes, bowling a career-best 277 with 10 strikes, including six-straight in frames 6-10. As a team, SFA notched 30 strikes against Sam Houston State with Stephanie Schwartz bowling a 210 and Paige Beeney adding a 205 as the Ladyjacks bowled the highest team total among the eight-team field in the opening session.
Anderson – 277; Schwartz – 210; Beeney – 205; Kraushaar – 180; Hazlewood – 165
Match Seven: Maryland-Eastern Shore 1,073, SFA 917
SFA closed out the qualifying round with a 1,073-917 loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore, giving the Ladyjacks a 4-3 overall record and the number three seed after the seven-match qualifying round. The Ladyjacks fell behind early to the Hawks, who one day after going 0-5 in pool play caught fire for their second-straight 1,000-pin performance. Paige Kraushaar led the way with a 235, registering eight total strikes against the Hawks but was the only Ladyjack to surpass 200, followed by Stephanie Schwartz's 196. Strikes were hard to come by for SFA on lanes 29 and 30 as the Ladyjacks managed just six in the first four frames and 17 for the match.
Kraushaar – 235; Schwartz – 196; Hazlewood – 177; Anderson – 165; Beeney – 143
Bracket Match One: Arkansas State 4, SFA 3
Drawing Arkansas State in the opening match of bracket play, SFA held leads at 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, but the Red Wolves captured the final two games to take the series 4-3. Clutch strikes down the stretch in game one helped SFA prevail in the opener 200-179, then the Ladyjacks bounced back with a 238-175 win in game three after dropping the second. After Arkansas State pulled away for a nail biting win in game four, the Ladyjacks notched a 191-173 decision in game five, building a 3-2 lead. Arkansas State won game six, making teams on the left lane a perfect 6-0 in the match, but that streak unfortunately didn't continue into the decisive game seven as four open frames doomed the Ladyjacks in a 221-160 series loss.
W, 200-179; L, 245-203; W, 238-175; L, 172-164; W, 191-173; L, 204-194; L, 221-160
Bracket Match Two: Maryland-Eastern Shore 4, SFA 3
Once again, SFA held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in its elimination match against Maryland-Eastern Shore, but the Ladyjacks were unable to close out the match, falling to the Hawks 4-3. Another quick start propelled SFA to the early lead with a 219-189 win in game one, then the Ladyjacks staged one of the best comebacks of the weekend as after opens in three of the first four frames, SFA responded with six-straight strikes to edge the Hawks 213-212. After a UMES rally in game four to tie things up, the Ladyjacks and Hawks found themselves deadlocked 160-160 heading to the 10th frame before Stephanie Schwartz iced the win with three-straight strikes, propelling SFA to the 190-180 victory. Needing one more win to advance, SFA couldn't make the shots it needed, dropping game six 224-182 before a 207-169 loss in game seven.
W, 219-189; L, 190-164; W, 213-212; L, 207-191; W, 190-180; L, 224-182; L, 207-169