Valparaiso senior Natalie Cortese (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates [Central Missouri]) closed out her illustrious Crusader career with one more honor Saturday night, as she was named one of five members of the 2012 NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team after pacing the tournament field in Thursday's traditional action with a 218.4 average.
Cortese led all bowlers in average in Thursday's seven traditional games thanks to a consistent effort throughout the day, rolling six games of 200 or better. In the morning session, all four of the senior's games were above 210, including a 237 against Central Missouri and a 233 versus Arkansas State, against whom Cortese struck on the first ball of the tenth frame to secure the victory.
In the afternoon, Cortese rang up one of the top individual single-game efforts of the day, rolling a 259 against eventual national champion Maryland Eastern Shore. Then, in Friday's best-of-seven baker action, Cortese struck twice in the tenth frame of a decisive game six against Sacred Heart to secure a come-from-behind victory for the Crusaders in an elimination match.