Thursday, May 21, 2015

The 1st official PWBA Stop - The USBC Queens

The 1st official PWBA Stop - The USBC Queens

This week I travelled back to Green Bay, WI for the USBC Queens, which marked the first stop on the new PWBA Tour. It definitely was much warmer than my previous visit in February when it was a brisk -20 (the coldest weather I've ever been in.)

The week started with a ton of photo shoots, a practice session, the first official meeting for the PWBA as well as our 1st official pro-am. With all of the excitement of the new tour and positive energy surrounding the event, I just knew it would be a great week.

First PWBA Pro-am
First Official PWBA Meeting

For the Queens, we bowled on a 42' pattern with heavy volume using the Kegel fire oil. During the first block of qualifying, I bowled very consistent and was happy with my execution shooting games of 247, 226, 201, 213 and 197 for +84. I used my Columbia 300 Disorder, Ebonite Game Breaker 2 and Code of Honor as well as my Track LX16, which put me in 29th overall.

Day 2 of qualifying we bowled on the burn, meaning they did not re-oil the lanes after the first squad. I again bowled well shooting games of 259, 223, 221, 225 and 216 using my Track LX16 and Game Breaker 2. This put me at +228 as I jumped up into 10th place overall.

The final day of qualifying we bowled another 5 games on the fresh. They definitely played flatter and tighter and I struggled to carry consistently but still managed to shoot +7 for the day for +235 overall and qualified in 17th going into match play.

During qualifying we managed to have some free time and tour Lambeau Field, the Home of the Green Bay Packers. The tour was awesome, as we were able to go inside one of the stadium's biggest suites and also were able to go through the same tunnel the players go through every game. Although I'm not a Packers fan, it was still pretty awesome to hear all of the history and stories about the team.

After qualifying, the field was then cut to the top 63 players, plus last year's defending champion Maria Jose Rodriguez. This is where the tournament really begins. The format is 3-game total pin fall matches with a double elimination format.

In my first round of match play I faced Hall of Famer Anne Marie Duggan. I came out swinging, stringing strikes for a clean 259 and then followed it up with a 205 and was up 46 pins going into the last game. I shot a clean 218 to win 681-617.

In my next match, I faced Jodi Woessner on the burn. I unfortunately did not have a good look on the pair and struggled a lot only shooting 573 to her nice 700 series.

Unfortunately the name of the game is to stay in the winner's bracket as long as possible. Since I was thrown into the contenders bracket early, I knew I would have a long road ahead of me.

In the first round of the contenders bracket, I faced Mariana Ayala from Puerto Rico. We again had to bowl on the burn and not wanting to make the same mistakes, I changed my strategy playing further inside with a Columbia 300 Mad Antics.

The match was close. Game one I shot a clean 210 and she shot 202. The 2nd game she came back and shot 229 and I shot 211 and was down 9 pins going into the last game. Not having a great look on the lanes, I managed to stay clean and needed to mark in the 10th frame to win the match. I luckily made a good guess, moved in the 10th and threw a great shot to strike and win in the close match of 616-604.

The next day, I faced Brenda Padilla. Having a different strategy in mind, I decided to try and break down the lanes far to the right and create some room using a lot of surface. This unfortunately didn't entirely work as I created a good shot but couldn't find a ball that would go through the pins correctly to carry. I never missed the pocket and shot 184 (with a pocket 7-10.) I then managed to string a few strikes together for a 221. I was down 48 pins going into the final game. Knowing I needed a big game, I never missed the pocket but the carry fairy was nowhere to be found, as I shot a clean 216 and lost the match 645-621.

Although I am disappointed with my finish at the USBC Queens this year, I am very happy with how well I am throwing the ball. I'm excited to be home for a bit, work on my game and then bowl the rest of the PWBA Tour this summer.

BIG congratulations to the newest USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson for winning the 2015 USBC Queens.

Until next time...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Missy Heads to Hawaii for PBA Regionals

This past week, I headed to the Big Island of Hawaii as well as to Oahu for three total PBA Regional Tournaments. These events are by far one of my favorites throughout the year! I’ve been competing in Hawaii since I was 12 years old, bowling the Aiea Singles Junior Bowling Tournament for many years, prior to competing in PBA Regional events. So it’s always nice to be able to visit with many that I’ve known for a long time, as well as make new friends along the way!

At the first event held at KB Xtreme in Kona, Hawaii, we held a high school bowling clinic prior to the practice session and pro-am. The next day we started qualifying for the PBA Kona Open. I started out with games of 228, 268, 203, 246, 253, 200, 225 and 184 for +207, being the only female and leading the entire field. I used my Columbia 300 Disorder, N’Sane Antics and Eruption Pro.

The field was then cut to the top 8 players for singles elimination matchplay. I faced local boy Rodney Torres in the Round of 8, making his first PBA cut/check debut.  In close matches, I ended up winning the first 3 games, shooting 214, 200 and 198. I then went on to face Josh Blanchard in the Round of 4 for the single game match. Although I bowled well and didn’t miss the pocket, Josh threw the first 8 strikes to prevail. I lost 224-268, coming in 3rd place overall in the tournament. Not a bad start for the trip!

Besides the bowling Scot Norton and I ventured around the island, visiting petroglyphs, sea turtles, Waipio Lookout, Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls. Then it was off to Oahu for the next two PBA Regional events.
Waipio Lookout

Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

Before the next two events, we had a day off and took that opportunity to venture to North Shore Oahu. We visited turtle beach, Waimea Bay, Pipeline and Sunset Beach, which were getting some decent surf that day. We then hit up the shrimp trucks for some amazing garlic shrimp – a MUST for all that go to North Shore.

The next day, we competed in the one day event at Schofield Bowling Center. I started out well, but then struggled in the transition and ended up missing the cut with +37 coming in 16th place. However, I did then cheer on bestie Scott Norton to  a 3-peat as he won the tournament defeating Tom Daugherty.

We then had another day off and used that day to travel to parts of the island that I had never seen before (which is saying a lot since I’ve been to Oahu 15+ times.) We visited a secret tunnel near the blow hole, ate amazing shaved ice at Uncle Clay’s House of Aloha (highly recommend), stopped to see the Makapu'u lighthouse and then ended up at Lanikai Beach, which is absolutely breathtaking!

The following day, we bowled practice session and pro-am for the last of the 3 PBA Regional events at Hickam AFB. Qualifying was the next day and I bowled very well, shooting games of 245, 204, 255, 185, 258, 193, 188 and 233 for +161. I used my Hammer Red Legend to qualify 3rd overall and face Josh Blanchard in the Round of 16.

The Round of 16 was a best of 5 format so the first person to win 3 games would move on to the Round of 8. The first game was close, but I left a 10 pin in the 10 frame to lose 183-189. I won the next two game 223-192 and 245-237. I then lost some carry at the end of game 4, losing 224-269. So it came down to the last and final game. I couldn’t carry on one lane in the beginning of the match. Meanwhile, Josh pulled a repeat of Kona, striking the front 7 strikes. I ended up striking out for 239, but lost to Josh’s 278.  I finished 9th place overall for the tournament. 

I then cheered on Scott for the rest of the tournament. He went on to win, again defeating Tom Daugherty in the finals. Scott definitely likes bowling the regionals in Hawaii as this now marks 4 of his 9 PBA Regional titles being captured in the islands.

Overall, the PBA Regionals were a lot of fun and I feel very good going into my next event – the USBC Queens in Green Bay, WI.

Til next time…

Monday, May 11, 2015

Missy Bowls the USBC Women's Championships

Missy recently competed in the USBC Women's Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Competing with fellow teammates Samantha Schaden, Bryanna Caldwell and Cassandra Leuthold, the team faired pretty well.

Missy used her Ebonite Code of Honor for most of the tournament.

Check out the full story here.