Lady Hawk bowlers capture 2nd national title of 2011
COLUMBUS, Ga. – (April 23, 2011) - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore claimed its first United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team Championships title here over the weekend.
By defeating Lindenwood University of St. Charles, Mo., UMES carved out a place in collegiate sports history by becoming the first team to win an NCAA Women's bowling title and an ITC title in the same season.
The 2011 ITC championship came down to the final frame in the last game of the best-of-three match.
UMES’ Maria Rodriguez converted a 3-6-9 spare in the 10th frame to beat Lindenwood, 164-158, in the deciding game. The Lady Hawks dropped the opening game, 182-156, before rallying back to win the second game, 189-183.
"When I let the spare shot go, I thought I missed it and had cost my team the title," said Rodriguez, who narrowly made the spare by hitting the left side of the 3 pin and getting the 6 pin to fall into the 9 pin. "I was too busy thinking about all the bad shots I'd made and how hard the lanes were. I'm just glad I made it."
Coach Sharon Brummell said, “Maria came through for us like she has all season and helped us to both national titles. I can’t believe it. It has been an exhausting season, but one well worth everything these young ladies put in.”
The United States Bowling Congress has been holding a national tournament for women’s college teams since 1975, an event that gives club teams, junior colleges, NAIA and NCAA schools the chance to compete against each other for its championship.
UMES bested a 16-team field, winning five of six matches in a double-elimination format. Fresno State University won the men’s title.
UMES beat Vanderbilt University a week ago to claim its second NCAA Division 1 title and then capitalized on the momentum from that win by hoisting the Kerm Helmer Cup at the 2011 Intercollegiate Team Championships.
"I'm still trying to feel if this is real or not," Brummell said. "Knowing that our team is the champions in both events, there's no doubt anymore that we are the best team in the nation."
Rodriquez, the Lady Hawks’ anchor bowler, also was named to the five-member all-tournament team. Rodriguez is the second UMES bowler to earn an All-Tournament Team honor at the ITCs. MaryEtta Lewis got a nod in 2006.
The championship match will be televised May 15 on ESPN2 at 2 p.m.
Portions of this story appear compliments of the USBC.
Check out this post-championship match interview with coach Sharon Brummell and the Lady Hawk bowlers.