LINCOLN, Neb. – The pins just didn’t fall for the University of Pikeville Bears the way they had all week in a 2-0 loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore in the finals of the xbowling Intercollegiate Team Champonships on Saturday.
After striking nearly half the time in both qualifying and in match play, the Bears managed only five in the contest in falling to the Hawks 209-180 and 173-171 at Sun Valley Lanes.
The championship was the second for Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Bears were playing for their third USBC title and their fourth overall.
Maryland-Eastern Shore opened the first two frames but put together a turkey in frames 4-5-6. After sparing the seventh, the Hawks did it again in 8-9-10 in Game One. Pikeville had only one open frame but with only two strikes couldn’t stick with UMES.
The second game opened much the same for the Hawks, with a pair of open frames in 1-2. Freshman Katelyn Simpson opened with a strike for the Bears and did it again in the sixth frame.
Leading 154-125 after eight frames, the Bears uncharacteristically opened both the ninth and 10th frames, leaving the door open for the possibility of a Hawk comeback. The Hawks got two strikes in 10 and, needing six to tie on the fill ball, got eight for the two-point win and the title.
Simpson and junior Christina Halen had two strikes each for the Bears. Senior Astrid Valiente added one.