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The Bowling Report (12/02/2007)

The start of the 2007-08 bowling season for Shirley Benedict had been kind of a disappointment.

After averaging a career-high 188 with nine national honor counts last year, Benedict went into the evening of Monday, Nov. 19, with a less-than-satisfying 175 average in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate Bowl.

But that night was one that Benedict and her John Glow's Pro Shop teammates will remember for the rest of their lives.

"I had 30 pins of handicap that night," Benedict recalled. "My average was way down from last year. Bill (her husband) had a ball he brought a couple years ago that he didn't use. My ball wasn't finishing on the back end. I took it in and got if plugged and drilled."

One of the first nights she used that ball, Benedict tossed a 669 honor count in the Sparklers League at Winona Bowl.

That would be nothing compared to Nov. 19, when Benedict rolled the series of her life.

She turned in games of 249, 252 and 242 for a 743 national honor count. That was her first career 700 and the top women's score so far this season.

"I'd come close before," Benedict said. "I'd have a 490 going into the third game and then throw a bad last game. I thought I'd never get one. It's one of every competitive bowler's dreams.

"I started with the first six of the third game. I asked (teammate) Mandi (Steffes), ‘Can I relax yet?' Then I threw a split. But I can back with a strike. Then I knew I had it."

Steffes also had the hot hand that night with a season-high 739 series. Another teammate, Jenny Glowczewski, fired a 652. When the night was over, John Glow's Pro Shop broke two city records with a 1,299 game and 3,700 series. That series broke the old mark by more than 200 pins.

"Mandi was bowling well," Benedict said. "We were bowling the first-place team (Dan's Dugout). It was time to make our move. In the past, Mandi, Jenny and me were never on the same page on the same night. We were more interested in winning the points than looking at our games.

"When you bowl with good bowlers, you tend to bowl better. When you're bowling that well, we all had so much fun. We were just laughing. It was a lot of fun."

WBA tournament

The entry deadline for the Winona Bowling Association Men's City Tournament is approaching quickly. All forms and money must be in by Dec. 8.

This year's event will be held at Winona Bowl beginning on Jan. 12. The team entry fee is $75, singles and doubles is $15 per man, and there's an optional all-events for $5 per person.

Entry forms are available at the local bowling houses.

Who's hot?

With all the fine young bowlers in Winona, it's still fun to see veterans like Benedict and Keri Wegman put up impressive scores.

Monday night in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate, Wegman became the first woman bowler this year to roll her second 700 series with a 737 (222-268-247).

One of those young guns, Tina Wenzel, was tearing it up on the other end of the house with a 676 in the Pin Topplers League. At Winona Bowl Monday, Lisa Piatkauskis rifled a 655 series.

Diane Marley (653, 650), Maggie Glenn (645, 621) and Krystal Dorman (639, 611) both tallied a pair of honor counts in the past week. Also tossing 600s were Jenny Glowczewski (619), Benedict (615) and Kim Kubis (612).

Brian Fakler paced the men with a 744 honor count in the Blue Ribbon League at Winona Bowl.

A couple of weeks ago, Drew Fugelstad tossed the first honor count of his career in the American League at Westgate. Tuesday in the same league, he enjoyed his second 700 with a 730 series.

Also breaking the 700 mark were Jerry Franzwa (708), Travis Gora (705), Tom Bambenek (704) and Brian Parpart (700).



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