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Foresters take on Buckeye Baker Classic

The Huntington University (HU) bowling teams were back on the road over the weekend of Nov. 6 to compete in the Buckeye Baker Classic. The tournament format was 36 Baker games with the top four teams moving on to match play.

The varsity women found themselves bowling for a championship against a tough Wright State University (WSU) team. HU shot 6,089 for 36 Baker games (169/ game average) to qualify as the third seed in match play.

Up against second-seeded Ohio State in the opening round, it came down to the last shot with Huntington prevailing 2-1 to advance to the finals where they faced WSU. The championship match also extended to three games with the Raiders eventually topping Coach Mike Shockey’s crew. It was nip and tuck until Wright State found a line and ran six consecutive strikes in the deciding third game.

“Saturday was tough with poor spare shooting and bad shot-making in general,” said Shockey. “Scores were not released until after the second set of Baker games, but I would not be surprised if we were in last place after the first four games with a dismal start on all fronts.

“The ladies regrouped and fought and chopped their way all the way back to fourth place by the end of Saturday. They came into Sunday with a revised plan of attack and slowly improved all day until we found ourselves in the championship match. We still have lots of things to work on, but all in all, the women are off to a good start this season.”

Like the varsity squad, the JV women’s team also earned a spot in the title game of their tournament. They shot a 5,185 for qualifying (144/game average) to claim the second seed. In first round action, HU topped Muskingum University 2-1 to advance to the championship match where they kept it close but lost 2-0 to Notre Dame College.

Shockey liked how his team bounced back after a slow start. “We struggled at the end of qualifying on Sunday. There was a lack of confidence and energy for the team,” Shockey said.  

“We pulled everyone together and committed to match play being a new day and new tournament,” Shockey continued. “The team responded really well and bowled with a different sense of urgency and brought loads of energy to the matches. It was exciting to see that level of intensity coming from a team that looked tired and worn out just a few minutes earlier.”

The Huntington men finished the tournament with a total score of 6,336 for 36 Baker games (176/game average) which resulted in a sixth place finish out 10 teams.

“Saturday was a rough day for the guys. We made a couple wrong moves and missed a few too many spares and ended Saturday in seventh place,” said Shockey. “We had a couple of good meetings Saturday night and made sure everyone was on the same page in the same book.

“Sunday turned out to be our best single day of the season to date. Spare shooting was greatly improved and the team’s commitment to correct lane play and communication was good. I think Saturday night was hopefully that point in the season where the guys learned how much better they are and will be together as opposed to individually.”

The Foresters are back in action for the National Collegiate Team Match Games on Saturday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Nov. 28.