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).