ORLANDO, Fla. (10/23/16) – The Arkansas State women’s bowling team defeated Sam Houston State in its first match of bracket play, but fell to the Bearkats in a rematch in the title game to finish as the runner-up at the Wildcat Invitational being hosted by Bethune-Cookman University at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

The Red Wolves (7-4) opened their first match against No. 6 Sam Houston State with 153-140 and 225-171 wins before the Bearkats rallied to tie the match with 210-194 and 211-203 victories. However, A-State posted a big 236-187 win in game five and clinched a 4-2 win with a 170-157 win in game six. The win moved A-State to the championship match, while Sam Houston had to face Stephen F. Austin for the right to earn a rematch in the championship.

The Bearkats did just that with a 4-2 win over the Ladyjacks to force a rematch between them and the Red Wolves. A-State dropped the first game of the match by just four pins 230-226, but bounced back to take game two 269-213. However, Sam Houston State won the next three games (221-191, 215-207, 212-171) to win the match 4-1 and claim the Wildcat Invitational championship.

“In the first match, we did things the right way,” A-State head women’s bowling coach Justin Kostick said. “We made a few mistakes, but were able to overcome them. We played pretty well in the championship match, but we didn’t finish off the close games. We had a chance in the last game, but the lanes transitioned and we didn’t move far enough. We probably needed to change some balls for a couple of players as well. All week I felt like we were on top of the moves better than everyone and that was why we dominated the event. Unfortunately, the champion is based on a sprint and we lost the sprint because we didn’t make some adjustments fast enough at the end.”

A-State’s Jordan Richard claimed the tournament’s MVP award and a spot on the all-tournament team with a total pinfall of 1,149 pins (229.80).

Maryland-Eastern Shore finished in third place, while Stephen F. Austin was fourth, and Nebraska logged the fifth-place spot.

Arkansas State returns to the lanes Nov. 4-6 at the Track Kat Klash in Houston, Texas. Fans can keep up with the Arkansas State women’s bowling team by following the squad on Twitter (@stAtebowling) and by liking the Arkansas State Women’s Bowling page on Facebook.