The Sam Houston bowlers started the Hawk Classic of Friday on top of the standings and never looked back. The Bearkats completed a wire-to-wire victory with a win over Arkansas State to take the title in Delaware.


The Kats, who entered as the No. 1 seed in Sunday’s bracket play opened the day with a loss to Arkansas State. They bounced back with a win against Sacred Heart to set up the rematch in the finals. 


“I was proud the way we kept it together all weekend long,” said head coach Brad Hagen. “We never let a small setback get to us and did what we needed to do. I was really proud of the girls coming back and winning against Arkansas State.”


Lynne Fishler had a strong weekend for the Kats, being named to the all-tournament team as well as getting recognized as MVP.


In the championship match, both teams traded wins during the first two games of the title tilt before the Bearkats took Games 3 and 4 to take a 3-1 lead. 


In Game 5, Arkansas State started play slowly with open frames in two of the first three frames, while Sam Houston State struck on four of their first five shots. The Red Wolves found some rhythm in the fourth frame which started a streak of five consecutive strikes, which ended with a spare in the ninth frame. 


Sam Houston traded spares and strikes from frames six through nine, which setup the possibility of a tie if both teams struck out in the final frame.


Sophomore Bea Hernandez of Sam Houston State stepped up first in the 10th frame and tossed a strike, while Arkansas State senior Julia Huren countered with a strike of her own. Both players again would strike to setup the pivotal 12th shot. 


Hernandez left a 4 pin on her final shot, which gave Huren the chance to strike to extend the match, but she left a Greek Church on her fill ball allowing Sam Houston State to secure the victory.