ROWLETT, Texas (3/25/23) – Outlasting Sam Houston in a Baker best-of-seven series 4-3, the Arkansas State bowling team advanced to the Southland Bowling League Championship series with a 2-1 mega-match victory Saturday.
Using 10-consecutive strikes in the fifth and sixth frames and a clean eighth frame, A-State won the traditional pinfall point 970-940. Emma Stull led the Red Wolves with a game of 219 while Maggie Thoma finished with a 217. Faith Welch (184), Karli VanDuinen (175) and Brooklyn Buchanan (175) rounded out the five bowlers for A-State.
The Red Wolves trailed by 53 pins in Baker five-game total, but a 257-191 game three margin put A-State ahead by 13 pins. A-State took game four 216-214 to lead by 15 heading into game five, but Sam Houston won game five 199-167 to force the Baker best-of-seven series to decide the mega-match.
A-State took the opening two games, 196-178 and 226-182, to get off to a solid start. Sam Houston answered winning game three 215-189, but the Red Wolves put up a 256-238 total in game four to be on the brink in game five. Sam Houston stayed alive in games five (218-210) and six (215-185) to force game seven. Four-straight strikes to end game seven sealed a 214-172 margin to clinch the match for A-State.
The Red Wolves await the winner of Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston for the championship series Sunday at approximately noon. Unbeaten at the Southland Bowling League Championship, A-State enters the championship a win away from an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In the double-elimination format, were A-State to drop the mega-match, the two teams would play a single Baker best-of-seven series to decide the winner.
The Red Wolves are poised to make a 15th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament with the selection show Wednesday at 3 p.m. on NCAA.com. A-State looks for its third Southland Bowling League Championship and first since 2018.
Sunday’s championship will be streamed live on YouTube via InsideBowling. For the latest on A-State bowling, follow the team on Twitter (@AStateBowling), Facebook (/AStateBowling) and Instagram (@redwolvesbowling).