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updated: 1/8/2014 8:57 PM

Fierce effort from BG's Savage, but Palatine prevails

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By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

Buffalo Grove's Joanne Savage wasn't too happy about the open frame she recorded to begin her final game against Palatine on Wednesday night.

So she made up for it. Starting in frame two, Savage proceeded to roll five consecutive strikes enroute to an outstanding 232 game.

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The sophomore finished with a 604 series but it wasn't enough to slow down the Pirates and senior Katie Conrad.

Conrad fired a 239 game three as Palatine defeated the Bison 7-2 in Mid-Suburban League play at Arlington Lanes, as the competitors returned from their winter break with a flourish.

It's been an incredible season thus far for Savage, who said her favorite part of the holidays was welcoming her brother-in-law, Preston Ulrich, home from Twenty Nine Palms in California.

Ulrich is a Marine hero who previously served his country in Afghanistan.

"It was so great to see him," said the sophomore, who owns the top series in league play this year (685), along with the fourth-best game (268), and came into Wednesday fifth in MSL average with a 191.43.

Conrad spent Christmastime on vacation in Hawaii, relaxing until she and her family returned to O'Hare smack dab in the middle of the record-breaking storm.

"It was so beautiful in Hawaii," said the senior, "so warm, so non-Chicago."

Conrad, who enjoyed a stellar state tournament last season, has the second-best conference average this season, a 196.62 coming in to play.

The senior took a break from bowling while on holiday, but jumped right back in with both feet upon her return including heading for the practice lanes in the way subzero conditions.

"I've been working hard," said Conrad. "They key to my season is staying calm, and not letting the pressure get to me. I've got to remember there's always another shot so just keep fighting."

Hersey's Emma Wrenn bowled the top game (257) and series (630) of the evening as Hersey defeated Rolling Meadows, while Fatima Gonzalez recorded a 212 game for the Mustangs.

Hoffman Estates kept their hold on first place in the MSL as Sarah Wille (571)series) led the Hawks to win over Fremd despite games of 215 and 211 from Brooke Leahy of the Vikings.

Arie Upshaw's 235 game helped Prospect beat Barrington and stay in second place, while a 213 from Jordan Gonzini helped Conant defeat Wheeling.

Elk Grove's Kayleigh Duff fired a 225 game and Brooke Barges rolled a three-game 590 to help Elk Grove edge Schaumburg 2,757 pins to 2,693, while Saxons soph Sarah Schwind shot a 599.

Rachael Taylor had games of 202 and 200 for Palatine, while Savage added a 200 game two for the Bison.

"I feel like I've improved this season, and so has our team" said Savage, who was on varsity as a freshman last season. "We all feel that we've got a great shot to move up (in conference) and advance in the postseason."

"I didn't start out as well as I could have tonight, but after that eight (in the first frame of game three) I was able to get my head back in the game."

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