ROCHELLE — Only 11 pins separated the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity bowling team from knocking down the Ottawa Lady Pirates for the team’s second consecutive victory on Thursday.
The Lady Hubs won the first and third games of the three-game Interstate 8 Conference series, but a tough second game allowed Ottawa to hold off Rochelle by a final score of 2,348-2,337. Senior Alyssa Mickley rolled a 489 series, while freshman Cassidy Vincent added a 483 series.
“I thought the girls had a great week,” head coach Eric Widick said. “I’m very pleased with the way our girls started the season. I thought we were a little tight tonight, but this was our first home meet and we have some new bowlers on the team so I thought there were some nerves.”
Rochelle (1-1) started strong in the first game, winning 760-736 behind 170 from Mickley and 168 from Vincent. Ottawa’s McKenzie Lewis stepped up for the Lady Pirates in the second game, shooting a match-best 206 to lead Ottawa over the Lady Hubs 822-757. Vincent fired 162 in the second game, with Mickley and senior Alyssa Schwanert each recording 149 for Rochelle.
“Alyssa [Mickley] has stepped back into form pretty well and what I’ve appreciated from her is she’s leading the other girls and keeping them going,” Widick said. “I saw her encourage our girls when they were struggling tonight. Alyssa [Schwanert] is still rounding into form, but I know she’ll settle down and once one of our players gets going, our entire team gets going.”
The Lady Hubs fought back in the third game, defeating Ottawa 820-790 but falling 11 pins short of winning the three-game series. Mickley recorded three straight strikes near the end of the third game to finish with 170, while Vincent struck out in the final frame to score 153. Schwanert totaled 156 in the third game to end the evening with a 440 series for Rochelle.
“Cassidy’s doing really well and it’s going to be a big plus having her in the program,” Widick said. “It’s been a joy working with all of the girls, but I think as a freshman, Cassidy’s ahead of the game already and I think we can tweak some things to really help her improve.”