Sterling Heights — When it mattered most, Macomb Dakota junior Danielle McBride of Macomb Dakota had the performance of her life at the Div. 1 girls bowling championships in Sterling Heights on Saturday.
Facing Caledonia’s Macailin Rodriguez in the final round, McBride threw 245 and 243 to secure her state title.
“It was very important just to stay consistent,” McBride said, “just to keep up the energy and everything.”
McBride’s coach, Paul Price, said he knew the state champion was destined for this moment.
“She’s a machine,” Price said. “She [has] been ever since she got here as a freshman, and I just expected to see her get better and better and she has.”
“She’s amazing. Absolutely amazing.”
Beginning in the round of 16, when she defeated Rachel Doran of Farmington Hills Harrison by a total pinfall of 70, the No. 3 seed McBride threw below 200 just once.
Prior to this year’s championship, McBride’s highest finish in the state tournament was tenth. Though she looked composed in the lane, she said her run into uncharted territory brought out some nerves.
“I was very nervous at first,” she said. “But once I started, I was just bowling, and felt really good.”
To get to the final round, Rodriguez defeated No. 1 seed Natalie Klein of Brighton, who looked borderline unstoppable during semifinals, when she threw a tournament-high 262.
Rodriguez, a senior, knocked Klein out of the tournament when they both were freshmen in the semifinal round.
This time the two were knotted at 224 after one game, making the second a winner-take-all proposition. Rodriguez had the hotter hand early in the beginning frames and rode the early advantage to a 424-390 victory.
Sydney Urben defeated Imari Blond of Flint Kearsley with a total pinfall of 409-356 at Super Bowl in Canton.
Urben defeated Blond's teammate, No.2 seed Barbara Hawes, in the semifinal round.
Blond won her semifinal and quarterfinal matchups by over 40 points.
Shelby Kapanowski of Algonac defeated Birch Run’s Tessie Birchmeier with a total pinfall of 373-320.
Kapanowski defeated top-seeded Kendyl Hofmeister of Essexville Garber in the quarterfinals, 420-375.
Megan Wilkins of Ishpeming threw a tournament-high 262 in a quarterfinals matchup with Lynsey Blonshine of Stanton Central Montcalm.
Mackenzie Johnson of Jackson Vandercook Lake defeated Victoria Ivey of Beaverton, 410-323.
Taking a 21-pin advantage into the championship’s second game, Johnson threw a tournament-high 231 to secure her victory.
Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.