Vandalia’s Josie Earnest returning to Team USA

Vandalia graduate Josie Earnest has qualified for Team USA in women’s bowling for the second straight year.

Placing third at the Team USA Trials in Henderson, Nev., Earnest is assured a spot on the team, a place in the QubicaAMF World Cup and prize money.

Defending trial champ Danielle McEwan took first in the national field on Monday, while Diandra Asbaty, a 15-time team USA selection, finished second.

In the championship ladder semifinals, Earnest lost to McEwan, 199-181, but the third-place finish was good enough to qualify for Team USA.

McEwan beat Asbaty, 267-194, in the championship match.

Last Thursday, Earnest opened the event with a 213.83 average over the first six games to start off in seventh place. Her high game for the day was 245.

The following day, Earnest averaged just 204 to place 19th on the day, but her point total kept her in a tie for 10th place overall, with 2,507 pins and 26 points. Her high game for the day was 224.

On Saturday, Earnest had a high game of 268 on her way to placing 13th for the day with a 212.67 average, and that allowed her to move back up to seventh overall, with 3,783 pins and 39 points.

It was on Sunday, however, when Earnest put herself in position to make Team USA.

Rolling no worse than a 206 in her six games, Earnest averaged 220.33 to place sixth that day to move into a tie for fifth overall, with 5,105 pins and 45 points.

Her high game on Sunday was a 254.

On Monday, Earnest actually had her worst day in terms of placing, averaging 206 to take 22nd. Her high games were 223 and 229.

Fortunately for her, Sarah Lokker and Jacqueline Carbonetto had worse finishes on Monday, allowing Earnest to move up to third place in the overall standings, with 6,341 points and 67 points.

Earnest, who serves as Vanderbilt University’s assistant bowling coach, had an average of 211.37 for the event.

Last year, Earnest earned a pair of medals in her lone Team USA event.

Bowling at the international PABCON Adult Championships in Henderson, Nev., last August, Earnest finished third in the Master’s Division all-events by averaging nearly 220 pins per game throughout the week-long tournament.

The all-events pin totals included games bowled earlier in the event as an individual and those bowled with a team.

Earnest came into the final day in fifth place, but bowled better than 225 – including a 279 – in five of her six games on the final day to move up to third place. Women’s bowling Hall of Famer Liz Johnson just squeaked by Earnest in the championship semifinals, 216-214.

She also captured a gold medal in team competition, joining Johnson, Asbaty, Leanne Hulensburg and Stephanie Nation.

Earnest, 24, already has a long list of bowling accomplishments.

The first two-time NCAA Player of the Year was a member of the 2007 NCAA champion women’s bowling team and was named the MVP of that tournament.

Prior to becoming a four-time All-American, she had six sanctioned 300 games in her junior career, and won numerous medals at state, national and international events.

Josie Earnest

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