By: George Pohly, Macomb Daily
Merisa Batkins gave Anchor Bay an emotional lift, and David Ludwick kept the beat going for Lake Shore.
Batkins defeated Danielle McBride of Dakota in the girls final and Ludwick edged Nolan Horne of Eisenhower in the boys at the Macomb County singles bowling tournament at Sterling Lanes on Saturday.
Ludwick, who lost in the 2018 tournament semifinals to teammate and champion Tyler Knight, became the third Shorian to claim the title in four years.
"Hopefully it continues after I'm gone, too," Ludwick, a senior, said. "It's pretty cool."
It was Ludwick's first championship in a singles tournament.
"He got a little redemption here," coach Jim DeLong said. "When David starts bringing 'em, he's pretty fun to watch.
"He's a power bowler."
Batkins, the Tars' anchor bowler in team tournaments, led four AB girls who qualified in the top 32 and advanced to match play.
"She is without question the team leader," Straub said. "She's the one that keeps everybody going.
"She continues to keep working on her game, on her shot-making ability. She's a great kid."
Batkins converted a 7-10 split on the way to winning the L'Anse Creuse North singles tournament last season, a championship that gave her confidence for the county event.
"This is a big tournament to win," she said. "It's one of the most important of the season."
Batkins started match play with a 218-183 victory over Ford's Mackenzie Joiner. She followed with a 236-181 victory over teammate Emily Fulgenti; a 233-218 win over Eisenhower's Sydney Kelley, and a 183-145 semifinal triumph over Warren Woods-Tower's Miranda Walker. Batkins won the final, 183-150.
"You've got to make every shot count, and I was able to pull through," Batkins said. "I believed in myself. I didn't let anything bother me."
Ludwick, who was 28th in qualifying, and Horne, 27th, proved that a glitzy series isn't essential to match play success.
"Once you qualify, it's fair game for anybody," DeLong said. "(Ludwick) took advantage of some breaks."
Ludwick defeated Armada's Phillip Tokarczyk 193-181 to begin match play. He then beat L'Anse Creuse North's Evan DeBruyne, 236-195; Chippewa Valley's Dennis Morrow, 162-157, and Dakota's Kevin Moore, 238-235, before taking on Horne. Ludwick won the championship match, 214-202.
"It's a matter of throwing good shots and making your spares," Ludwick said.
In the final, Ludwick converted a spare in the first frame, but his momentum stalled with an open fourth frame.
"Got to stay with it," he told himself. "Can't give up."
Ludwick called winning the tournament "a confidence booster."
"To be able to win in front of my peers is special," he said. "It's something I've wanted to do since my freshman year.
"I've been close multiple times, but I had never gotten it done. It feels really great."
Ludwick continued the Lake Shore championship surge that began with Nathan Kuffer in 2016.
"David is a really good bowler," DeLong said.
Moore defeated Eisenhower's Tyler Brownsworth, 261-210, for third place in the boys tournament.
Carly Scanlon of Dakota defeated Walker for third place in the girls competition.
Julihanni Alcini of Roseville was the high qualifier in the boys tournament with a four-game series of 956. It took a pinfall of 834 or more to advance.
Eisenhower's Erin Vanderbrink paced the girls in qualifying with 902. The 32nd qualifier had 687.
Team championships for boys and girls will be decided at Sterling Lanes on Sunday.