Win by a pin: Decatur edges out TJ at Secoma Lanes

The Decatur Lady bowlers beat the TJ Raiders by a single pin — 1,500 to 1,499 — on Nov. 22.

The two teams were not even meant to play each other on Tuesday. Decatur’s original schedule had the team going up to HiLanes to take on a school from the Highline School District. But the re-opening was delayed, so the Gators took on the Raiders at Secoma Lanes.

“We just adapt and go with the flow,” said junior Mack Hatten.

Hatten is the anchor bowler for the Gators; she was tasked with keeping up with the high powered TJ anchors. She came through when her team needed it, with some huge bowls in the end of the first game and the final baker bowl frame.

“It gets really intense. There is a lot of pressure, but all we do is try and have fun which really helps the tension go away,” she said. Hatten led the Gators with a score of 157 in game one and was second overall in total score for the first two games (291).

A bowling duel consists of two standard bowled games with five total bowlers per side. Instead of bowling a third game, the teams compete in what was known as a bakers bowl. Each player bowls two frames, a bowler who bowls the first frame then goes again in the sixth and so on. The winner is chosen via total pins.

On Tuesday, going into the bakers bowl the score was 1,251 to 1,256 with Thomas Jefferson leading. The baker bowl first game extended TJ’s lead from five to nine with TJ winning by a score of 115-119.

The Gators came through in the final game of the match, Sun Hong was Decatur’s third bowler and was right in the middle of the comeback.

“It was scary and nerve racking, but it was fun,” Hung said after the match. She totaled 280 in the two games but had some big bowls down the stretch including a strike in the second baker propelling the Gators over TJ.

The Raiders had some incredible performances as well sophomore Emily Cropp bowled a 289 and was the third best bowler overall, sophomore Samyia Gildon also performed very well with a 282 score. But senior Brookelyn Dawson was the top bowler totaling 322 on the night.

Decatur is coached by Doug Toland, who teaches senior civics at Decatur. It is Toland’s first season for the Gators taking over from former coach Mike David. “Coach David was explosive and loud and brought the energy … Toland is a little more laid back,” Hatten said. Toland and David have both coached a multitude of sports, helping support the local sports community.

Decatur faced Todd Beamer Tuesday, Nov. 29 at Secoma Lanes.