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HARROGATE, Tenn. – The Lincoln Memorial University women's bowling team outlasted Texas Southern 105-72 in a five-frame roll-off Friday morning at Hillcrest Lanes in the opening-round match of the 2018 National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship to advance to the eight-team double elimination bracket competition to compete for the national championship April 12-14 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Lady Railsplitters topped the Lady Tigers 897-844 in the traditional team round and rallied from a 52-pin deficit in the final of five Baker matches to tie the score at 871 and force a tiebreaker.NCAA Bowling Championship Logo 150w

"I thought both reams really fought hard," said LMU Director of Bowling and Women's Head Coach Joseph Slowinski.

Freshman Justine Brookover led LMU's balanced effort in the traditional team match by posting a score of 186. Sophomore Mary-Kate Kersting totaled 185 pins, and freshman Christine Hansen recorded 184. Freshman Tyra Sanchez and sophomore Marisol Dodson rounded out the team with scores of 179 and 163, respectively.

"I was very impressed with how well Texas Southern got out of the gate," Slowinski said. "We weren't making the best of shots, but we were sparing well, so we kept ourselves in the match. Through five frames, they were really the better team."

The Lady Tigers made some critical mistakes later in the match that Lincoln Memorial was able to capitalize on to pull ahead by converting spares and adding in some strikes.

"The gutter ball on a turkey flipped that team on a dime," Slowinski said. "They really responded with some key mistakes after. When somebody makes a mistake we want to respond, and we did. We stayed pretty clean throughout the rest and put the match away."

Texas Southern ended the first of five Baker matches with a 50-pin advantage in the second leg of the competition by outscoring the Lady Railsplitters 223-173. LMU battled back in the second match by outscoring Texas Southern 182-145 to cut the deficit to 13. The Lady Tigers increased their lead over the next two matches by outscoring Lincoln Memorial 148-133 and 212-188 to head into the final Baker match up by 52.

"We started off very poorly in that second format match, but we never gave up," said Slowinski.

Hansen's strike in the final frame put LMU ahead 195-143 and tied the overall score at 871 apiece to force a five-pin roll-off.

"She's done that over and over and over again," Slowinski said. "That's why I moved her. We had a lot of anchors and rotations throughout the day. We just keep fighting and find a way to make it work."

Lincoln Memorial will join Nebraska, McKendree, Arkansas State, Vanderbilt, Sam Houston State and North Carolina A&T in St. Louis next weekend to compete for the national championship. St. Francis (Pa.), who defeated Bowie State on Saturday morning will be the eighth and final team.

~LMU Sports Information

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