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Natalie Cortese Earns Tournament MVP Honor
Natalie Cortese earned tournament MVP honors. (Joe Cortese)
Natalie Cortese earned tournament MVP honors. (Joe Cortese)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Valparaiso’s Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Univ. of Central Missouri]) was named the Most Valuable Player of last weekend’s Greater Ozark Invitational after posting a tournament-best 224 average in Saturday’s action.

Cortese started off Saturday with a 185 against Arkansas State, but then proceeded to bowl four straight games of 200 or better, all team-high efforts.  She started with a 235 in Valpo’s win over #17 Elmhurst, followed by a 214 in the Crusaders’ victory over #12 Minnesota State-Mankato.  Cortese then bowled the game of the tournament against her former team, #4 Central Missouri, starting with a 9-spare in the first frame before striking out for a tournament-best 290.  She closed the day with a 200 against #2 Vanderbilt.

Cortese was also an integral part of the Crusaders’ baker squads on Sunday as Valparaiso finished in sixth place in the program’s first-ever tournament.  She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Josie Earnest (Vanderbilt), Brittni Hamilton (Vanderbilt), Lisa Hoover (Mankato), Cassie Leuthold (Nebraska) and Samantha Santoro (Arkansas State).