NCAA Football

April 15, 2019, 5:02 am

NCAA Champions — SFA Ladyjacks win bowling title

WICKLIFFE, Ohio — The Stephen F. Austin State University Ladyjacks are the 2019 NCAA Women's Bowling champions.

NCAA Champions — SFA Ladyjacks win bowling title
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WICKLIFFE, Ohio — The Stephen F. Austin State University Ladyjacks are the 2019 NCAA Women's Bowling champions.

The Ladyjacks scored a 4-1 win over No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt on Saturday nighttime in the NCAA finals at RollHouse Wickliffe near Cleveland. It is SFA's 2nd political unit title in four years. 

"It's beautiful unbelievable," SFA head manager Amber Lemke said following the political unit title victory. "Our players have worked so hard up until this component tonighttime, to see all of their hard work pay off for them in a abbreviated time period of time is truly breathless for us as a programme afoot forward. It gives us some excess motivation that as long as you work hard, thing is possible." 

The Ladyjacks cured from an beginning game reverse (183-167) and bowled some of their finest games of the political unit title week.   

"As a team we tell them that we never want to hit the terror button, so we just let it come to us," Lemke said. "We knew we were devising good shots, but unfortunately we just weren't filling frames. We knew we just had to keep putting the ball there and eventually it was going to come to us. I think there were a lot of nerves in the first game with a lot of our players not used to being under the TV lights. When we started getting in the groove and getting some better shots and devising some spares, I think everybody gained a little more confidence and got comfortable. I think that truly turned the match around."

Sophomore Dakota Faichnie, who subbed into the match at the end of game one, took over the No. 2 spot in the Ladyjacks' lineup and sparked SFA's comeback by rolling a strike. It would be the first of six-straight strikes for the Ladyjacks, who bowled their way to an impressive 222-166 game two triumph to even up the match at 1-1. 

SFA's five-bowler lineup of freshman Carlene Beyer, Faichnie, sophomore Sarah Gill and seniors Paige Beeney and Dakotah Hazlewood all threw strikes to begin game three as the Ladyjacks held on for a 203-175 game win.

SFA totaled its highest pinfall of the nighttime in game four. Getting three consecutive strikes from Faichnie, Gill and Beeney, the Ladyjacks closed out the game with a 2nd strike from Beeney and back-to-back strikes from lynchpin bowler Hazlewood to take the fourth stanza 224-190 and go up 3-1. 

Needing just one more game win to clinch the best-of-seven Baker match, SFA got a strike from Faichnie and then four-straight strikes from Beeney, Hazlewood, Beyer and Faichnie again. Hazlewood closed out the fifth game with a three strikes to seal the deal at 213-202 and secure the Ladyjacks' 2nd political unit title, 4-1. 

Beeney, who was named National Tenpin Coaches Association All-American honorable mention earlier this week, was phenomenal in the match. She bowled eight strikes, picked up a spare and left just one frame open Saturday in the title match en route to being named NCAA Championship MVP. In the three traditional team matches during the week, Beeney averaged a 208.7 game score and knocked down a total of 626 pins. 

After picking up NTCA All-American first team honors on Wednesday, Hazlewood was named to the NCAA Championship all-tournament team as she tallied seven strikes against the Commodores in the title match and collected five spares. She finished seventh among all bowlers in the three traditional team matches during the week, averaging a 220 game score with a pinfall total of 660. 

Hazlewood and Beeney were both on the Ladyjacks' 2016 political unit title team and close out their NCAA careers as the school's only two-time political unit champions in any sport. 

Beyer was SFA's top individual bowler in the NCAA Championship's traditional team matches, averaging a 222 in three games and accumulating a pinfall total of 666 to finish fifth among all bowlers. 

The 2019 NCAA Bowling Championship field was comprised of 12 teams with eight schools rewarded automatic qualification through conference titles. SFA, who was ranked sixth political unitly in both NCAA RPI and the latest National Tenpin Coaches Association top 25 poll, was one of four NCAA political unit title contenders who received an at-large selection. Ranked No. 1 in the NCAA's RPI rankings, Vanderbilt joined 2nd-ranked McKendree, fourth-ranked Sam Houston State and third-ranked Nebraska as the four teams placed in the title bracket in Ohio.  

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