I-N’s Carlson reaches U.P. girls semis

MARINETTE, Wis. – Kaytlynne Carlson was unable to defend her title, but she still had the best finish of any area bowler at Upper Peninsula Bowling Conference girls singles tournament held on Feb. 9.

The Ishpeming-Negaunee junior posted the fifth-best qualifying score among 53 participants at Michel’s Dome Lanes in Marinette, Wis. Then she went on to advance through two rounds of match play before losing a close match and being eliminated in the semifinals.

Last year as a sophomore, Carlson had a big finish in qualifying to barely make it to match play, then won four matches and bowled 14 games in one day to become the surprise winner of the title.

This year Carlson was no surprise, not just because of her past performance, but because she carried the highest girls average by 15 pins during the current UPBC regular season.

Carlson showed her stuff in the singles event as she bowled the day’s highest game, 256, and was the only bowler with more than one 200. There were only 10 200s bowled among 329 total games.

Carlson opened qualifying with 203 and shot 970, a 161.7 average, 64 pins behind No. 1 qualifier Amanda Prophet of Westwood. Prophet didn’t have a 200, but she kept her low game at 153 in qualifying as she averaged 172.3.

In match play consisting of two-game matches, Carlson downed Nicole Ehrhardt of Menominee, 420-353, which included her 256, then edged teammate Kassy Harsila 310-300 to face Cathy Pomeroy of Escanaba in the semifinals. Pomeroy prevailed 313-305, though Pomeroy lost to teammate Jenna Larson in the championship match.

Harsila and I-N teammate Kaylee O’Connor were the only other area bowlers to win a match. Harsila, who qualified 13th with 920, including a 235 game, beat teammate Jaime Olson 333-321 before facing Carlson.

O’Connor qualified 15th with 915, just 17 pins ahead of the first bowler to miss the cut. She then defeated No. 2 Mikayla Kewley of Menominee, 320-279, before falling to Larson, 294-281.

Prophet lost in her opening match to Iron Mountain’s Makenna Steinbeck, 324-310, while teammate Brooke Bartol, 14th in qualifying with 919, lost to Taylor Cordy of Escanaba, 391-260.

Five I-N bowlers made the top 16. The others were Olson, fourth with 982 including a 225 final game, and Ashley Anderson, seventh with 957 including 202. Anderson fell to Larson in the first round, 378-312.

Five other area bowlers were within 60 pins of the qualifying cut. They included Kathryn Kulju of Westwood in 19th with 893, Aubrey Owens of Marquette, 20th with 884, Rebecca Poirier of Westwood, 21st with 873, Hannah Crampton of Marquette, 23rd with 849, and Ann Alanen of I-N, 24th with 847.

The top finisher for L’Anse was Heather Mensch in 36th with 706.