ST. MARYS — The Van Wert girls bowling team roared back in the Baker portion to rack up 3309 total pins, and place 3rd in the WBL Girls Bowling tournament on Monday.

Lorrie Decker, Hanna Say and Makenna Nagel led the girls in the traditional portion of the tournament.

Decker placed 11th overall, followed by Say in 21st and Nagel in 22nd place. The Lady Cougars found help from a wide supporting cast including Ryleigh Hanicq and Tiarra Rhodes off of the bench.

After the first two traditional games, Van Wert found themselves in 5th place. They managed to move their way up to fourth place following the last traditional game, trailing only St.Marys, Wapakoneta, and Celina.

Entering the portion of the match that includes six Baker games, the Lady Cougars recorded a first game score of 125 to fall behind the third place Celina Bulldogs by 207 pins.

With five games left to make up the pin count, seniors Katie Hauter and Makenzie Bowers, along with fellow senior Kayla Papke saw the Cougars light the lanes up with games of 204, 199, 142, 245 and a 175 game.

Their late surge helped them pass the Celina Bulldogs, and finish in third place by 53 pins.

The Van Wert girls led all WBL teams in the Baker portion of the tournament, including the 2019 defending State Champions St.Marys by 59 pins, and the 2020 WBL Regular season Champions Wapakoneta by 149 pins in the Baker games.

The Lady Cougars Baker game score of 245 beat their own record that they set earlier this season by 21 pins.

Van Wert will return to action next Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Community Lanes in Minster for the sectional tournament.