HAWKS CLAW THEIR WAY TO A 4-2 WIN OVER WISCONSIN-WHITEWATER; FALL TO NEBRASKA 4-1
Kristie Lopez was solid, marking in every first frame of the morning session.

Kristie Lopez was solid, marking in every first frame of the morning session.

April 12, 2013

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CANTON, Mich. - It was a tough go, but the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) survived to top the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) 4-2 and advanced in the winner's bracket before running into Nebraska, falling 4-1.

To the Hawk faithful in attendance it was like déjà vu, as UMES lost in the second match to Nebraska in 2011. The silver lining, the Hawks won their second NCAA title in 2011.

In the opening match the Hawks took a lead early putting up a 214-198 win in game one. UMES tossed six strikes and was clean throughout while the WarHawks opened up in the first and never recovered. In games two and three the Hawks of UMES lost the pocket. They took a 226-173 loss in game one, leaving a pair of opens while in game three UMES had a pair of splits, including a 7-10 to fall 183-171.

Game four saw the Hawks catch a little luck. While it wasn't pretty, there was three splits, they survived to post a 175-164 win as the WarHawks left four open frames.

In game five it wasn't much more attractive, but again the Hawks stood tall at the end, taking a 162-148 win. While UMES overcame a 7-10 split in the second and a split in the third, UWW left the "big 4" in the eighth and that allowed UMES to hang on for the win.

Game six looked like the two-time defending champions were bowling. They opened with five straight strikes to tally a 221 while UWW again opened in the first and remained clean but only had four strikes to tally a 195.

That gave UMES a 4-2 win and a date with top-seed Nebraska just 20 minutes later.

The Huskers are always tough and were the No. 1 seed for a reason.

In a slugfest, the nation's top two teams battled it out. They would trade marks up until the seventh frame when Nebraska left the deadly 7-10 split. They rebounded for a spare, strike and spare (leaving another7-10 on the fill). UMES looked poised to take advantage but Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) missed, leaving an split and getting just one. The open frame, that late in the match, cost the Hawks a 214-202 decision.

Game two also went in Nebraska's favor, 183-176 and almost belonged to the Hawks. The Huskers opened in the first frame, but if there has to be a split, the first is the place to do it, as they recovered to mark in the next four frames, three for strikes. Ramirez then opened in the fourth with a 7-10. UMES rebounded with a spare and strike but an open from Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) cost them. Still Nebraska left the door open. They opened in the sixth with a seven-split but marked the rest of the way out for a 183. Heading into the final frame, UMES needed two strikes and eight to win. T'nia Falbo (Greensburg, Pa.) got the first and the Hawks were alive. One more meant a chance buut she stayed right of the pocket and flushed just five, costing them the match with a 176 tally.

UMES got on the board in game three, looking like the Hawks again. They would roll the first four for strikes, spare and then toss three more. Nebraska opened in the seventh and despite closing the tenth with the turkey, they never could catch up. UMES rolled 233-266 and had the highest pinfall of the match.

Game four though saw the Hawks take a step back. An open in the second and seventh negated the three-bagger in the third-fifth and the Hawks posted 1 89. Nebraska was hot again, tossing four strikes in the first five frames then closing with three in the seventh through ninth to amass a winning 226.

In the final game of the match the Hawks threatened early. They opened in the third when Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) chopped a spare but surrounded it by five strikes. Then mayhem set in, back to back opens by Valentina Collazos (Cali, Colombia) and Alvarado cost dearly. The Huskers never opened and won 215-199.

UMES takes a lunch break where they hope it has the same effect as yesterday. Last night they returned to dominate in their three matches and are looking for more of the same tonight. They take on Fairleigh Dickinson at 5:40 p.m. and the winner faces Vanderbilt in the semi-finals afterwards.