Thursday, September 25, 2014

Missy Breaks Records at PABCON Women’s Championships

Last week, I had the honor and privilege to represent the United States as a member of Team USA competing in the PABCON Women’s Championships in Cali, Colombia. Joining myself on the team, were teammates Kelly Kulick, Liz Johnson, Shannon O’Keefe, Shannon Pluhowsky and Danielle McEwan.

Over the course of the week, we competed in the Singles, Doubles, Trios, Team and Masters events of the tournament. At this year’s PABCON Women’s Championships, we competed on the Long – 47’ Paris pattern and Medium - 39’ Seoul pattern.

The first event of the week was the Singles competition where we bowled 6 games on the Medium pattern. I started out the first game of the tournament very shaky, but quickly starting executing and was able to get everything back on track. I shot games of 182, 238, 224, 253, 213 and 230 for +140, just missing a medal by 20+ pins, finishing in 4th place.  Clara Guerrero broke the All-time Singles record, shooting +298 to capture the gold medal, which is an amazing feat being in her home Country in front of all of her family and friends. Teammates Kelly Kulick and Liz Johnson finished 2nd and 3rd.

The next day, we bowled 6 games on the Long 47’ Paris pattern in the Doubles event. I was paired with Kelly Kulick, which I had also bowled Doubles with at last year’s World Championships where we captured the Silver medal. We started off shooting 439 and then backed it up with a huge second game of 554, where I had the first 11 strikes in a row. We never looked back from there, shooting games of 440, 429, 530, where I had the front 9 strikes, and then finished it up with a 469 team game. This put us at +461 overall, which not only won us the Gold Medal, but also broke the All-time Doubles event record. I shot games of 217, 296, 247, 225, 279 and 234 using my Columbia 300 Disorder and Ebonite Pivot for +298. Kamilah Dammers and Thashaina Seraus from Aruba won the Silver Medal and teammates Danielle McEwan and Shannon O’Keefe won the Bronze medal.

The next day, we bowled the Trios competition. I was paired with Shannon O’Keefe and Danielle McEwan.  For this event, we bowled on the Long 47’ Paris pattern on the left lanes and the Medium Seoul 39’ pattern on the right lanes. This proved to be both fun and very challenging at the same time since the lanes changed quickly and I had to throw the ball completely different on the two lanes. On the left lane, I was trying to throw the ball as slow as I can and make sure to be very rolly with my release, keeping the ball more end-over-end and then on the right lane, I was using my normal speed (much harder) with more of my normal release (more on the side.) We bowled well shooting games of 602, 661, 684, 705, 606 and 627 for +285 overall. I had my lowest block of the tournament thus far, shooting only +25, but luckily my teammates held me up.

Going into the 10th frame, it was very close for medals. I left a 9 pin, picked it up and struck to lock up the Gold Medal. The Silver medal was still up for grabs between Colombia and our USA teammates. Colombia finished first in the 10th frame and after which Liz Johnson, the anchor for the other USA Trios team, needed to throw all 3 strikes in the 10th frame to win the Silver medal by 1 pin. She did just that, throwing all 3 shots perfect for USA to take both the Gold and Silver Medals. Colombia received the Bronze medal.

The next day, we bowled 3 games on the Medium 39’ Seoul pattern in Team Event and then came back for 3 more games on the Long 47’ Paris pattern. We started off strong and never looked back, posting 5-person team scores of 1182, 1099 and 1062. Then after the break, we came back and shot 1148, 1081 and 1166 for +738 overall, which broke the All-time Team Event record and won us the Gold Medal, 428 pins over 2nd place. Canada won the Silver Medal and Mexico won the Bronze.


After we were done with Team event, I was informed that I had won the Gold Medal in All-Events and had also shattered the previous All-time All-Events record, shooting 5,515 averaging nearly 230 for all 24 games. Team USA swept the All-Events Medals, with Kelly Kulick winning the Silver medal and Liz Johnson winning the Bronze Medal which also solidified our berth into the 2015 Pan American Games.

The final day of competition was the Masters event, where the top 8 from All Events qualified to bowl head-to-head single elimination best of 3 matches. The top seed picked the starting pattern and the entire game was only bowled on that pattern and then you alternated between the patterns for consequent games. The first match, I faced Aumi Guerra from the Dominican Republic. I choose to start the match and that we would bowl on the Medium 39’ Seoul pattern. The first game was very close. I left a 10 pin and spared and then struck in the 10th frame and Aumi needed to throw a double in the 10th frame to beat me and she did not, shooting 213 – 195. We then moved to the Long pattern which was another close game. In the end, I ended up striking out in the 10th frame to lock her out, winning 236-221.

I then moved on to face teammate Liz Johnson. I did not have the best look on the next pair and choose the Long pattern to start on, which also was not the best decision.  I lost game 1 – 183-232. Then came back and fired a242 to win that game of Liz’s 201. Then we went back to the Long pattern, which had given me so much trouble during the first game. The backends were extremely tight on that lane and since the pattern was so long, getting my ball to go through the pins correctly was a bit of a challenge. After leaving a pocket 8-10 in the middle of the match, I then figured it out and struck out 7-10 frames for 216, needing all 3 strikes in the 10th frame to force Liz to double in the 10thto beat me. She made a good shot and left a 10 pin, which led me to advance to the final match against teammate Danielle McEwan.

In the final match, this was another close one. I shot 227 the first game, which forced Danielle to strike out to beat me, in which she did not, shooting 219. The next game was even closer. Danielle threw great shots striking out in the 10th frame to force me to double in the 10th frame to beat her. I got a lucky first strike and then left a 10 pin on a good 2nd shot to lose 235-239. The final game, the right lane changed very quick for me and I couldn’t quite get my ball to match up correctly. Danielle bowled very well and beat me to win the Gold Medal in the Masters. I then took the Silver Medal and Liz Johnson and Clara Guerrero both won the Bronze Medal.

Later that night, we had the closing banquet. They took us to a typical Colombian restaurant, which had a giant thatch roof and was open air. The food was amzing! Even though we did not have time to go sightseeing or venture out in Cali, we did get to experience the amazing food of Colombia. Here are a few of my meals and some fun photos from the banquet. The green drink is called Lulada and is made of the fruit Lulo which is only native to Colombia. It was super yummy!

Til next time….

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Missy and Drew Open Parkin’s Bowling Supply #3

This had been one crazy month. Despite all of the travel, my husband Drew and I managed to also open our 3rd Parkin’s Bowling Supply location inside Bowlium Lanes in Montclair.

Our Grand Opening was Tuesday, August 26th and it was a success! BIG thank you to proprietors Scott and Teresa Poddig for having us join the Bowlium Lanes family and making us feel welcome with a pink balloon arch and cake to celebrate our big day.

Come and visit one of our Parkin’s Bowling Supply locations inside Tustin Lanes, AMF Cerritos Lanes and Bowlium Lanes - for all of your bowling needs! 

Missy and Scott Win Luci Bonneau Mixed Doubles

This month, Scott Norton and I ventured to Houston, Texas to compete in the Luci Bonneau Mixed Doubles tournament. This event is the biggest mixed doubles tournament in the Country, if not the world.  Every August, Houston basically turns into a Men’s and Women’s National Pro Tour stop with the amount of talent in the field. The event sells out in the matter of days and it’s one of the events that I always look forward to competing in.

Scott and I bowled last year in the Luci Mixed Doubles for the first time together, and unfortunately it did not go too well. We did not make the cut and ended up spending our day off, visiting the Houston Space Center, which was a decent alternative (although we would have much rather been bowling.)

This year, we were determined to not have that happen again. Flying in on Thursday afternoon, we were able to get in some quality relaxation time with our friends Debbie and Ziggy that recently moved to Houston. They have a gorgeous house, pool and spa and graciously let us stay with them for the weekend. We were able to spend a relaxing evening visiting and also got a show, watching a crazy lightening storm off in the distance.

Friday was practice and pro-am day. Practice session went well and then we had the pro-am shortly afterwards.  The pro-am at this event is always full and so much fun as Donna Connors puts on an amazing event with grandiose prizes and auction items, plus the entire tournament serves as a charity for breast cancer awareness and donations to research etc.

We bowled B squad on Saturday. In between squads, Donna has raffle items for the pros and the prizes are insane! Every entrant receives a free ticket and she gives away two of every item – one for the women and one for the men. Well the very first prize she gave away this year happened to be the grand prize – a 55 inch flat screen TV. Scott happened to be walking by the table right as they were going to start the drawing so they asked him to pull the first ticket. I was holding both of our tickets (blue for the guys and red for the women.) Low and behold they started reading off the numbers and Scott drew his own ticket, unbeknownst to him since I was holding them. So before we even threw a ball, Scott had won a 55 inch TV! Not a bad way to start the day. 

We then bowled our 8 games of qualifying. The oil pattern at the Luci is always difficult so it puts a premium on shot making and picking up spares.  I shot games of 214, 215, 233, 198, 258, 226, 236 and 242 for +222 and was high amongst all of the women. I used my Columbia 300 Blur Hybrid and Track LX 16 for the entire day. Scott shot games of 224, 177, 214, 243, 231, 190, 219 and 235 for +133 using his Columbia 300 N’Sane Antics for most of the day. Total we were at +355, which put us in 2nd place overall.

The next day, we bowled 4 games of semifinals and then the field was cut to the top 8 teams for round robin match play. I think I forgot how to bowl in the morning or just flat out wasn’t awake yet, as I struggled shooting games of 169, 191, 181 and 213. Luckily Scott held me up shooting 234, 247, 220 and 230. We had dropped down to 3rd place going into match play.

We then bowled 8 games of round robin match play with 50 bonus pins awarded to the team winning the team total each match. Scott and I both LOVE match play and it was evident as we went 6.5-.5 and had made up enough ground to move into 1st place going into the position round. However, we were only ahead of Tom Daugherty and his partner Kristina Wendell by 9 pins. So whoever won the match, was going to win the title.

Luckily I had a good look on the pair and starting stringing strikes early. Tom had a couple of early opens, but Scott also didn't have a great look on the pair, so the match was pretty close. Going in to the 10th frame we were ahead but needed to finish strong. I left a stubborn 10 pin, which forced Scott to have to get a mark on his bad lane. He went up and threw it perfect for a strike and we won the title 420-393!

Not only is winning any tournament a great feeling, but winning this prestigious event with your best friend just puts icing on the cake! The tournament also counts as a PBA Regional title, so I am now the only woman to have 3 PBA Regional Titles and Scott now has lucky number 7.

Til next time…

BPAA Ladies All Star Event

Last month I competed in the BPAA Ladies All Star event in Rockford, Illinois. This tournament took the place of the U.S. Open this year and I am so grateful that BPAA with the help of John Sommers provided another tournament for us to compete in.

The Ladies All Star was also run in conjunction with the Senior U.S. Open. Down the street another BPAA tournament was held – The National Family tournament.

Prior to the start of competition, I bowled one of the pro-am squads that teamed us with the National Family tournament. It was so much fun meeting the parent, grandparent or family friend and the child they were competing with. It was a great event and I know the parents and kids were excited to have us there.

After practice session and pro-ams, The Ladies All Star tournament held a banquet that celebrated the history of women's bowling. Many Hall of Famers were present and shared stories of the old LPBT and PWBA tours. It was a fun night and gave great insight to the history of women's bowling.

The BPAA Ladies All Star was comprised of three 6-game qualifying blocks. I started off the tournament well, shooting games of 248, 218, 224, 172, 198 and 258 for +118 overall. I used my new Columbia 300 N’Sane Antics and Track LX 16 during this block.

The next day, we bowled on the burn squad, meaning they did not re-oil the lanes in between squads. I didn’t fair as well and just grinded out the day shooting games of 182, 208, 224, 206, 178 and 212 for +128 overall and +10 on the day using my Track LX16.

The final day of qualifying, the lanes were brutal. I could not figure out a great way to stay out of trouble when I missed and getting to the pocket was very difficult. I again struggled in the middle during the transition, shooting games of 233, 184, 171, 169, 214 and 191 for +90 overall using my pin down Columbia300 N’Sane Antics and pin up Ebonite Pivot. Luckily I had enough pins to qualify for the top 16 round robin match play finals.

Starting the day in 10th place, my first 8 games of match play went very poorly. I believe I somehow forgot how to bowl overnight. I went 2-6 and had dropped very far from the top 5 stepladder finals. However, after a nice break and some lunch, I regained consciousness and remembered how to bowl, going 6-2 in match play and climbing my way back to 10th place. During the block I had moved up to 6th place with only 20ish pins out of the top 5 stepladder finals.

All in all, I was pleased with my performance for the week. The pattern was extremely difficult, as a U.S. Open type tournament pattern should be. Execution had to be perfect and finding a ball that didn’t leave you pretty designs when you missed was a must. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite match up well enough to find that magic reaction very often. However, despite that, my execution was top notch; I never missed a single pin spare in all 34 games and that’s all I can really ask for.

Congratulations to Shannon Pluhowsky for winning the BPAA Ladies All Star and Paula Vidad for winning the Senior U.S. Open! Great bowling ladies!

Til next time…