By Kris Freeman for White House High School
SMYRNA – The ladder match format of the TSSAA Individual State Bowling Tournament for the individual round is a catch-22, and the higher seeds often run into a red-hot bowler.
For White House senior Kyleigh Husted, there was little she could do on Wednesday afternoon besides stay consistent and hope for a mistake as sophomore Bricey Caudill of Stewart’s Creek rolled a 224 in the state finals, knocking off third-seeded Husted, who rolled a 201. Neither bowler had an open frame, and the difference in the match proved to be a four-strike streak between the second and fifth frame for Caudill.
In the ladder match round, the higher seed sits and waits while the lower seed bowls their way up, meaning Caudill was fresh for the match after Husted was waiting since the 1:30 p.m. session ended earlier in the day.
In the five matches of the day, Husted knocked down 970 pins with an average of 194, and game highs of 220 and 201.
But Caudill, who came into the tournament as the second overall seed behind Husted, qualified for the finals as the No. 4 and knocked off the No. 5 seed Janna LaBuda of Bartlett 233-180.
She carried that 233 into the match against Husted and didn’t let up, firing off four straight strikes from the second to the fifth frame after opening with a 9-spare, then a huge knock down strike to seal it in the ninth. Caudill cooled off in the next match, losing 200-192 to Elizabeth Coutta of Smyrna. Caudill finished third.
Coutta advanced to the championship match against Kailee Channell of Hardin County. That match was still going at the time of this article release.
In the 3 versus 4 matchup, Husted didn’t back down from the challenge, opening with two strikes and three of her first four, then also striking in the seventh and ninth. But the momentum gained by Caudill was enough to carry her to the 10th.
Husted’s only chance would have been a strikeout 10th, which would have eventually tied the match had Caudill stayed with her 8-spare-8 in the final frame. But Husted also spared the 10th and Caudill put the match away.
Husted is not done, and will bowl in the team competition on Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. when the Lady Devils take on Hardin County in the team quarterfinals. White House (12-1) had five finishers in the top 48 of the state, with Husted (4th), Savannah Blair (12th), Jaycee Whitaker (17th), Ella Husted (tied 19th) and Miranda Cain (46th).