Troy High School junior Kayleigh McMullen takes second at D-I state bowling tournament

COLUMBUS — Practice doesn’t always make perfect.

At least, that is the approach Kayeigh McMullen was looking at it.

After a practice session at Wayne Webb Lanes on Thursday for the D-I girls state bowling tournament, both McMullen and coach Rob Dever knew they were going to have to try and do something different Friday.

Those adjustments worked to perfection as McMullen rolled games of 199-218-205 on lanes 41 and 42 for a 622 series to finish second overall.

It is the second highest finish for a Trojan at the state tournament.

Alicia Benson was state champion in 2009 with a 608 series.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” McMullen said in a phone interview. “I have heard from a lot of people already. It is pretty amazing.”

Troy girls bowling coach Rob Dever had mixed feelings after the practice session on Thursday.

“I knew Kayleigh (McMullen) was capable of it,” Dever said. “I wasn’t so sure after the practice session. We just needed to make a couple of adjustments.”

McMullen wasn’t as worried.

“I felt like I would definitely bowl better today,” she said with a laugh. “We made an adjustment in my line and I could see in the first game I had the perfect line.”

McMullen actually had eight strikes in the opening game of 199, overcoming three open frames.

In her second game, she had seven strikes and a clean game of 218 with no open frames.

“I had no idea where I stood,” McMullen said. “I guess I was a little nervous, but not too much.”

Dever wasn’t sure either.

“It didn’t seem like the scores were very real high, but I wasn’t sure,” he said.

McMullen overcame two open frames in her final game in the sixth and seventh frame.

Then, she came through in the clutch, rolling four straight strikes with an eight count on her final ball in the tenth frame for a 205.

Little did she know just how big that was going to be.

“The girl who won blew the competition away,” Dever said. “The important thing is Kayleigh (McMullen) got second by one pin.”

In other words, she needed all four of those strikes and the eight count to finish second.

“It is pretty amazing when you think about it,” she said.

She finished with 22 strikes on the day.

Dever said something else made her accomplishment even more impressive.

“I think what Kayeligh (McMullen) did is even more impressive,” he said. “When Alicia (Benson) won, our whole team was here. It is so hard to bowl as an individual. It is you against the world.”

And on this day, McMullen was up to the challenge — even if practice didn’t make perfect.