On Sunday, I competed in the PWBA/PBA Regional Challenge in Reno, Nev. as part of the World Series of Bowling. There were three separate divisions bowling at the same time - the women, PBA 50 and the PBA regular division. I earned a spot into the finals through earning the top female points in the PBA West Region. There were 8 regions total in each division that qualified for the finals. Unfortunately, the bowlers from the Japan region did not participate, thus leaving 7 total competitors per division.
We bowled 8 games of round robin match play, with a position round the final game. The winner of each match earned 30 bonus pins and the top 2 bowlers would qualify for the stepladder finals. I bowled steady the entire time, but had a bit of trouble winning matches. I started out using the New Columbia 300 Tyrant shooting 213, but losing to Ashly Galante's 242.
My next match was very close, but in the end I also lost shooting 222 to Clara Guerrero's 225. Even though I lost that match, I did manage to convert the 7-10 split in the 4th frame. That little bit of luck seemed to get things going in the right direction.
I then won my next two matches shooting 243 and 227, switching to the Columbia 300 Impulse. This jumped me into 2nd place. I then lost shooting 213, but brought it back the next two games shooting 191 and 201 winning both matches and staying in 2nd place going into the final position round game.
I was facing tournament leader Ashly Galante, who was leading by a significant margin. I was ahead of Diana Zavjalova in 3rd place by 64 pins. The final game would be crucial, seeing as if Diana won her match and I lost my match, she would need to beat my score by 34 pins to advance to the stepladder finals.
Things were close the entire game. I made a gutsy ball change and zone change in the 5th frame to my Hammer Scandal Pearl and managed to string three in-a-row. I needed to strike out in the 10th frame to lock out Diana and threw a good shot, but didn't carry. Diana needed to get the first strike in the 10th frame to pass me. Although things were close till the end, I ended up hanging on to the No. 2 seed for the Xtra Frame stepladder finals.
|Top 2 finalists in each Division - Ron Mohr, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ashly Galante, myself, Dick Allen, Matt O'Grady|
The lanes were then re-oiled and No. 1 seed Ashly Galante and I bowled the first match of the stepladder finals. I decided to change strategies a bit during our 5 minutes of warm up, overhearing where the men had been playing the lanes all day. I moved further right than I had been all day and used my New Columbia 300 Tyrant.
I spared the first frame and then threw the next 8 strikes in a row to defeat Ashly 267-188, thus capturing the PWBA/PBA Regional Challenge title.
This win meant a lot to me because of my current circumstances. I had laparoscopic surgery only 5 1/2 weeks prior to competing. Six days before the event, I had only been able to bowl 2 games in-a-row and wasn't even fully sure I'd be able to compete. So to come away with a win was absolutely incredible. Unfortunately, I was unable to take advantage of my free entry into the World Series of Bowling due to my doctor's restrictions.
Big congratulations to Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Matt O'Grady for winning the PBA 50 and PBA divisions. Good luck to everyone competing at the World Series of Bowling!
Until next time!
For the official press release, click here.