The Sam Houston State women's bowling team started their second season the same way they did their inaugural year that ended with a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight.

The Bearkats defeated Stephen F. Austin winning 977 to 887 in the opening traditional team game and 1182 to 1056 in a six-game Baker match.

The event was held at the International Bowling Training and Research Center in Arlington.

Transfer Michelle Secours led the Bearkats in the first match with 234 total pints. Neishka Cardona knocked down 227 pints, Dayna Galganski 181, Elise Bolton 173 and Lisa MacAllister 162.

Sam Houston's scores in the six Baker sets were 212, 173, 193, 198, 224 and 182 while Stephen F. Austin's totals were 172, 186, 186, 164, 171 and 188.

 "After a slow first half the team really showed what they are capable of doing and that's closing with intensity," head coach Brad Hagen said.  " We made a few little changes, had a few breaks go our way, but it was exactly what we needed to shift the momentum our way.

"Neishka and Michelle really showed poise during the later half of the match and contributed some serious numbers and shots when needed.  The team as a whole did an amazing job all around of getting this first win of the season under there built.  Definitely a group effort top to bottom."

With the victories, Sam Houston ran its all-time record against Stephen F. Austin to 8-0.

"I was proud of how the girls communicated, paid attention to what the lanes were doing, and worked together as one unit.  This team has a lot of potential we just need to make sure we manage the little thing that effect the bigger picture," Hagen said.

"During the baker sets I truly saw the team that could be a contender.  We grinded shots out, we were smart, and we remained focused on the goal.

"We have a team that has a lot of depth, experience, and heart.  If we can continue expressing those items as priorities and utilizing our strengths then I believe a lot of good things will once again come out of this season."

Next action for the bowling team will be the Greater Ozark Invitational Oct. 28-30 in Springfield, Mo.