TU bowlers remain 10th at Columbia 300 Saints Invitational

TU bowlers remain 10th at Columbia 300 Saints Invitational

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. --- The Tusculum University women's bowling team went winless on Saturday but the Pioneers still maintained their 10th place position after day two action at the Columbia 300 Saints Invitational. The three-day, 19-team tournament is being host by Maryville University and held at Bolwero Lanes.

The Pioneers have accounted for 9,076 total pins in the tournament and will begin bracket play on Sunday when they open with 20th-ranked Lincoln Memorial. TU could finish as high as seventh at the conclusion of Sunday's Baker Best-of-7 matches.

Tusculum went 0-4 in Saturday's traditional scored matches where they faced three nationally-ranked programs. TU opened against No. 12 Central Missouri where the Jennies came away with a 1000-884 victory. Tusculum's Erin Burkart led the Pioneers with her 186, while Raycine Mortensen bowled 179.

In the second match of the day, Upper Iowa edged the Pioneers 937-916.  Tacey Ballen bowled a team-best 223, while teammate Alexa Tieto added a 202 for the Black & Orange.  The Pioneers had a bye match midway in the day, as Mortensen tallied a 223 as Tusculum bowled a team score of 874.

Tusculum faced tournament host and 15th-ranked Maryville in the fourth match of the day as the Saints came away with a 1001-840 victory.  Tieto bowled a team-best 191 for the Pioneers.

TU wrapped up the day facing top-ranked McKendree. The Pioneers bowled its best score of the day with 931, but it would not be enough as the nation's No. 1 team bowled a tournament-best 1,105 to improve to 9-1 on the weekend and finished the day with 5,174 total pins.  Tusculum got a steller 245 from Burkart, while Abbygale Hunt posted 205 for the Pioneers.

Tieto finished the day with a team-best traditional score average of 183.40, which is 39th individually. Mortensen (180.60) and Burkart (179.60) are 42nd and 43rd, respectively, while Hunt is 47th with 176.80.

McKendree is first in the tournament standings with 10,309 pins, followed by Arkansas State (9872), Nebraska (9808), Wisconsin-Whitewater (9782), Sam Houston State (9751), Maryville (9720), Central Missouri (9656), Louisiana Tech (9649), LMU (9461) and Tusculum (9076) to round out the top-10.

Valparaiso is 11th with 8977 pins, followed by Drury (8903), Kentucky Wesleyan (8840), Lewis (8754), Upper Iowa (8351), Augustana (7986), Aurora (7843), Spalding (7738) and North Central (7737).