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The Bowling Report (10/08/2006)

The sixth edition of the Winona/La Crosse Bowling Challenge starts next Saturday in Winona.

For both the Winona men's and women's team, the opening day with be crucial. They both know the importance of holding their own in town. How well they perform on Saturday could go a long way in determining how much confidence they take into the following day's action in La Crosse.

That is especially important for the Winona men's team, which has had no success in La Crosse the first five years of the event and is still looking for its first win.

"We have to definitely beat them in Winona," Winona men's co-captain Dave Hultgren said. "We need to get a leg up on them at Winona Bowl, because we know they'll get dialed in.

"Last year we made up a lot of ground the second day. I'm hoping we have a little more experience with Greg Fakler and Nick Heilman on the team this year. Then it's all about production in La Crosse. That has been our Achilles heel every year."

Last year, La Crosse jumped out to a huge 105-45 lead over Winona after the singles and alternate-shot doubles competition at Pla-Mor Lanes in La Crosse. Winona fought back on the final day and made it respectable before losing 165-135.

On Saturday, the Winona and La Crosse men will tangle at 1:30 p.m. at Winona Bowl, while the women meet at 5:30 p.m. at Westgate Bowl. Day 1 action includes singles matches and alternate-shot doubles. On Sunday, the doubles matches and Baker team matches will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Pla-Mor Lanes for the women and at 5:30 p.m. at All-Star Lanes for the men.

A year ago in La Crosse, Winona's women's team kept things close the first day, then came on strong in Winona to earn a 163_-136_ victory. Winona is looking to even the all-time series up at three with a win this season.

"We really have to make sure we bowl the way we are capable in our house," said Rose Schultz, who shares the women's captain duties with Keri Prigge. "Everybody has to. There have been some pretty decent scores coming out of (Westgate) and at Winona Bowl. We have to bowl well because I know (La Crosse) will bowl well here."

Schultz and Prigge made very few changes to their team from a year ago. They were very happy with the performances and camaraderie of the squad.

"We took into account some of the young bowlers," Schultz said. "We also took into account the maturity. Plus we looked at people that bowled both houses and bowled out of town. It's a team."

Hultgren and his co-captain, Brian Dunbar, know they'll have to get big production on Saturday from the big guns who are usually very solid at Winona Bowl, especially the house's owner, Brian Fakler.

"We definitely have to have Brian," Hultgren said. "He bowls so well at Winona Bowl. So does Tod (Walters). We need to have production from those guys. Geoff Schewe had a 300 over there last week. He's bowling well. I'm hoping we're as solid as we can be over there.

"Hopefully we can have a decent lead going into La Crosse on Sunday. We're the underdog. The tournament experience is such a tremendous advantage for La Crosse. I don't know if it's a comfort zone in Winona or what. I don't know why we have so much trouble in La Crosse."

Maybe that will change this year.

"We'll want to bowl these guys for a long time," Hultgren said of the event. "Losing is always tough, but it's a fun tournament. There are always a lot of big games and big series. It's really a good tournament." Winona fans are encouraged to come out and support their teams both Saturday and Sunday. There is no admission to the event.

Who's hot?

Who says lightning doesn't strike twice in the same spot?

Just ask Krystal Dorman. Last Wednesday night in the Lamplighter League at Winona Bowl, Dorman started out the third game with a blow in the first frame, then rattled off 11 straight strikes for a 279 game. On Monday in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl, she did the exact same thing in the third game for her second 279 in five nights.

Members of Winona's women's Challenge team put up some impressive scores in the past week. Mandi Steffes led the way with a 686 game, including a 269 game, and Sue Yeoman added a 685, also with a 269. Diane Marley (641), Shirley Benedict (637), Dorman (632), Sue Buermann (605) and Rose Schultz (605) also rolled honor counts.

John Glowczewski paved the way for the men with a 786 series last Thursday in the Classic League at Westgate Bowl. In the same league, Todd Weege added a 764.

Brian Fakler pitched in a 762, Greg Schewe had a 758, including a 299 game Tuesday in the American League at Westgate, and Geoff Schewe carded a 751.

Two young Winona bowlers who made the jump from junior leagues to adult leagues this season turned in their first career USBC honor counts in the last week. Kyle Malewicki rolled a 711 series in the Blue Ribbon League at Winona Bowl and Krystal Beech added a 602 in the Sunsetters League at Westgate.

Mike Mohan carded his first career 600 series with a 601 Tuesday in the Classic League at the Athletic Club. 


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