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Forester bowling starts new year off with a bang

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - After nearly a two-month break, the Forester bowling teams were back in action over the weekend at the Buckeye Baker Classic. This tournament featured 36 baker games before cutting to the top four for match play where both teams were outstanding.

The HU men brought home the championship while the women’s team claimed a runner-up finish.

“I’m proud of the team,” said Coach Mike Shockey. “The team has a good work ethic in practice and the result of that hard work is paying off at tournaments now. This a really good tournament to start the second half of our season. It is all baker games which is the same format that the USBC Intercollegiate sectional tournament will be in March.”

The Huntington women started the weekend with a bang by finishing with a score of 4,046 pins for 24 baker games on Saturday for second place. On Sunday, the Foresters struggled to maintain their hold and ended up tied with Morehead State for the second spot with a qualifying total of 6,044 pins for 36 baker games. The tiebreaker favored HU as they had the higher single game in qualifying.

Shockey’s crew advanced to match play, a best of three format, where they faced Morehead State in first round action. The Foresters proved they were the better team by sweeping the Eagles, 200-195, 168-150. The W sent HU to the championship match against the 7th-ranked University of Pikeville.  The match went all three sets with Huntington falling just short of the victory, 185-178, 171-178, 187-149. 

“We have been impressed with the ladies this season,” said Shockey. “They had some early success and they continue to build on that and continue to improve week to week.

“The shot this weekend wasn’t easy and all the teams had to stay focused and not get frustrated with the lack of high scores. We spoke early in the season about being a team that is going to be mentally tough and not give away pins because mental errors. We’re always working on that part of the mental game, but the ladies are doing really well with this part of the game.”

Just like the Huntington women, the men’s squad finished Saturday in 2nd place. The men scored 4,600 pins for their 24 baker games. While things didn’t go quite so smoothly for the Foresters on Sunday as they nearly slipped out of the top four before hanging on for 3rd place with a qualifying score of 6,597, only 14 pins ahead of 5th place, their 3rd place finish was enough to advance to match play. 

In first round action, HU topped Toledo in two, 176-162, 207-205. The win propelled the men into the championship match where they faced 12th-ranked University of Pikeville.  It was an exciting finishing as each game came down to the 10th frame with the Foresters claiming the title in two, 157-146, 207-202.  

“We are happy for the guys to get this win,” said Shockey. “The weekend was a great example of the grit and determination of the men’s team.  After a disappointing finish to qualifying, they guys came together and determined that match play was a fresh start and anything can happen.”

The Foresters are back at it this weekend to compete in the Kegel/ISPBA Midwest Collegiate Classic.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 274 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.