When the Smithtown/Kings Park girls bowling team fell behind Sachem by 98 pins following the first of three games in its Suffolk League I match Thursday night, they recognized something needed to change.
“There was a lot of thinking going on during that first game and only a couple of us were cheering,” said Smithtown East senior Lauren Schiraldi. "Coach [Glenn Roper] pulled us over afterward and told us that there needs to be more energy and we need to start making our spares.”
Schiraldi caught fire in the second game and rolled a 237 to lead Smithtown/Kings Park past the Flaming Arrows, 22-18, at Coram Country Lanes.
“After the first shot, I knew that it was my game,” said Schiraldi, who finished with a three-game total of 611. “I relaxed a bit, everyone started cheering me on and it really pumped me up.”
Kim Brandt (Smithtown East) threw a 225 in Game 2 of a 622 series, the highest series of the match for Smithown/Kings Park. Kendal Eggert (Kings Park) rolled a 221 in Game 3 of a 607 series and Izzy Cain (Kings Park) bowled a 225 in Game 2 and Game 3 of a 605 series.
“We like to bounce ideas off one another. All the girls give each other advice and pick each other up if someone has a bad frame,” Eggert said.
“It’s important that if you miss one spare, you don’t give up," Brandt said. "You have to clear your head and move on to your next shot."
Sachem North’s Amanda Naujokas had the high game and high series of the match with a 254 in Game 2 of a 723 series. The senior improved her season average from 223.08 to 226.67, the highest in the county.
Smithtown/Kings Park improved to 6-0 and sits atop the standings in Suffolk I. Sachem fell to 3-2.
“Going into the season we knew we had a shot to do something special and our goal was to win our league,” Schiraldi said. “I’m really proud of our team. Girls that were bowling in 180’s last year are now in the high 190’s. It’s really amazing to see how much we have improved.”