Melissa Sherwin, Kelly Skalacki, Amanda Tyrrell spur Middle Country

Middle Country's Kelly Skalacki releases the ball. (Feb. Middle Country's Kelly Skalacki releases the ball. (Feb. 2, 2013) Photo Credit: Alan J Schaefer

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Kelly Skalacki and Amanda Tyrrell dominated throughout, but Melissa Sherwin continued to save her best for last.

In her final high school bowling season, Sherwin broke the Suffolk girls average record. In her team's last game Saturday, she rolled the round's high of 257. And with an impending foot operation threatening to end her athletic career, she led Middle Country to a county championship.

Behind Sherwin's Game 6 surge, the Cougarines secured their first Suffolk bowling title since 2010 Saturday at Sayville Lanes.

Skalacki, a Newfield junior, rolled a tournament-best 1,389 series and Tyrrell shot 1,331 to lead Middle Country. Sherwin rolled 1,282 and Brooke Kelsey 1,141 as the Cougarines totaled 6,229 pins.

Commack, with Jacqueline Castelli's 1,299, took second (6,178) and Olivia Lopera's 1,364 helped two-time defending champion East Islip finish third (6,127).

"It's hard to describe the excitement and sometimes it doesn't feel real," Sherwin, a Newfield senior, said of her season. "I wanted this so much."

Sherwin has a club left foot, from birth, which forces her to walk on her toes and bowl with a prosthetic attachment. After the season, she will have a ninth surgery on the foot; one that will involve a complete sever of the Achilles tendon. Through the pain and uncertainty, Sherwin has thrived. Her 223.2 average set the Suffolk record, and Middle Country is headed back to the state tournament, where it finished second in her freshman year.

"With everything she's gone through, she has amazing resolve," coach Mandy Dominguez said. "She struggled a little in the fifth game [with a 180], but when we needed her at the end, she was clutch."

Skalacki's 267 pushed Middle Country ahead in Game 2, and it staved off Commack's late push.

"We had a great week of practice and were confident," said Tyrrell, whose team's regular-season average was second to East Islip. "We've been on fire recently and hopefully, it continues to carry over."

Notes & quotes: Bay Shore, which finished ninth, qualified for the county tournament for the first time in program history. Amanda Morales bowled a 1,125 series for them on Saturday . . . Comsewogue sophomore Renee Rocco bowled her first 300 in Game 4 and had a 1,386 series. She is believed to be only the fourth female, of any age, to roll a 300 at Sayville Lanes. "My mom predicted I would do it [Saturday]," Rocco said of the perfect game, "but I can't believe it actually happened."

You also may be interested in: