FREDERICKTOWN — When Fredericktown High School senior Hannah Vaughn broke her right hand, just before the start of autumn volleyball season, there was little doubt that she would be back to help her team late in the season as soon as her hand healed. It was the winter bowling season that posed the biggest challenge for Vaughn.
Nobody, not even Vaughn, knew how her newly-healed hand would deliver the ball or if she could find the same consistency.
The first tournament game for Vaughn, whose hand was cramping despite her being cleared by the doctor, did little to give her hope. She only rolled a 51.
“That was kind of rough,” Vaughn said. “I had a boxer fracture, so I completely lost strength in my hand for a while.”
Vaughn continued to exercise her hand with a rubber band. In the meantime, she managed to play in four volleyball games at the end of the season. That, however, did not prepare her for the type of exacting skill that she would need on the lanes.
“It was very hard,” Vaughn said. “In bowling, you don’t get good easily. You really have to keeping working, so it really took a lot of practice and a lot of games before I was back to normal.”
Surprisingly, Vaughn regained her form more quickly than one might have thought, with the help of girl’s coach Shaun Stephens and his wife, Melinda Stephens, along with head coach, Chuck Young.
“It was about a week after my first game back,” Vaughn said. “I got a 200 game and it had been a while since that happened. After that, I was getting 200s once a week. From that point on, I knew I was ready to bowl.”
Vaughn, who has been bowling since her freshman year, had her experience to feed off. A long layoff, however, is not good for a game, which is all about repetition, consistency and touch.
“It’s hitting the same spot, every time,” Vaughn said. “You pick a mark on the lane and you try to hit it every single time. If you don’t hit it exactly, your ball is not going to be the same. It just takes constant practice.
“The most important thing is to have fun with it,” Vaughn continued. “When you get tense, you get worse.”
Vaughn’s comeback has given her an opportunity to help the Freddies (15-2, 10-1 KMAC) who are currently fighting for first place in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference with Cardington (14-1, 11-1 KMAC).
“The girls come over to Trio Lanes and we practice outside of our regular practice,” Vaughn said. “We’re putting in a lot of work and we’re having fun with it.”
Wednesday against visiting Northmor at Trio lanes, Vaughn rolled the best two individual game scores of the day. Her individual scores of 159 and 182, along with her team’s outstanding 162 in the first baker game and 247, overall, lifted the Freddies to a 1639-1152 win in their KMAC matchup.
In the boys’ competition Wednesday, Fredericktown squeaked out an 18-pin win. Joey Frailey led the way with a 334 series, but the Freddies trailed 1,311-1,293 heading into the baker game. The Freddies upped their game and shot a 179 and a 167 to come around the Golden Knights to win 1,639-1,621.
Fredericktown returns to action today at Trio Lanes in a home match against Mount Gilead, starting at 4 p.m.