UMES TOPS FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 4-2; EARN A SEMI-FINAL BERTH
April 12, 2013
CANTON, Mich. - The only two schools from the Northeast region of bowling in the 2013 NCAA Championship field meant this evening in the second round. The two past National Champions slugged it out, going back and forth until finally the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) held on to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) 4-2 and earn a berth in the semi-final round.
The Hawks and Knights traded marks in the first game until the seventh frame when FDU slipped and left an open frame. Sophomore All-American Mariana Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) jumped on the misstep and tossed a perfect strike from the right. FDU recovered with a strike of their own, but in the ninth they left the big four for another open frame. All anchor T'nia Falbo had to do was throw one strike to seal the win, no problem. The senior All-American buried it and UMES cruised to a 219-199 win.
In game two the Hawks stumbled a little. FDU opened in the second on a split but bounced back to toss a four-bagger. UMES opened in the fourth and then could only spare for the next three frames. Senior All-American Anggie Ramirez (Bogota, Colombia) struggled, opening again in the ninth, this one after a split. Falbo struck on her first ball but it was too little too late as FDU was clean the rest of the way and won 222-186.
Game three was all Hawks. After an open in the second following a spare, UMES tossed six consecutive strikes. Ramirez spared and then Falbo struck in the tenth to give the Hawks a commanding 242. FDU was solid, staying clean until the fill ball in the tenth but were unable to string strikes together and finished with a 225. UMES was up 2-1.
The fourth game was about as bad as a game as the Hawks had the entire tournament. Kristie Lopez (Ponce, Puerto Rico), who was on her mark all day, spared the first. Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) struck the second frame and Alvarado spared the third frame. Then it went downhill fast. A 7-10 split from Ramirez was followed by two spares from Falbo and Lopez. Then a missed single-pin spare by Buja, an open after a seven by Alvarado and a missed single pin by Ramirez spelled doom. Falbo struck on her first ball but split and missed on the next two. That all equaled a 149. FDU rolled with six straight strikes in the fifth through tenth, overcoming their own early 7-10 split, to tally a 228, earning the win.
It was now tied at two games each.
Game five was a slugfest between the two powerhouse programs. They traded strikes and spares over the first four frames until FDU put a four-bagger together. Lopez and Buja doubled in the sixth and seventh and Ramirez struck in the ninth. NTCA Player of the Year Danielle McEwan for FDU needed a strike to secure the win for her Knights. She got nine but a spare and good count would still win. Falbo threw a first ball strike for UMES. Then McEwan missed the single pin spare, a rare miss for her, and Falbo capitalized. She would toss the second strike in the tenth to save the day for the Hawks. Her eight pins pushed them over the edge for the 224-215 win.
With the momentum changed, FDU opened the first frame of game six. They would rebound nicely but they couldn't overcome the Hawks. Lopez struck, Buja spared and then Alvarado, Ramirez, Falbo, Lopez, Buja, Alvarado and Ramirez tossed a strike each, seven in all. Falbo spared the tenth and UMES rolled a commanding 258. FDU, who was clean after the open, tallied a 213.
UMES eliminated FDU 4-2 and with it, ended the sensational collegiate career of Danielle McEwan, a two-time National Player of the Year.
The Hawks will advance to the semi-finals at 7:15 p.m. against Vanderbilt.