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The Bowling Report (02/17/2008)

If her game kept improving like it has in recent years, someday Tina Wenzel thought she might be able to throw a score that would land her a spot in the all-time top 10 for women's series.

But at age 23, she didn't think she was ready yet for that huge score. Wenzel figured she still needed some experience and maybe a little more knowledge of bowling. But the future certainly looked bright.

Well, it appears the future is now.

Monday night, that huge score came for Wenzel, and this amazing feat is still a shock to her.

Wenzel rolled the second highest women's series and became only the second female ever in Winona to put up an 800 series. She tossed games of 235, 277 and 288 for an even 800 in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate Bowl.

The only other 800 turned in by a woman in Winona came on Jan. 2 when Keri Prigge nailed an 812 series, also at Westgate.

"I still can't believe it," Wenzel said Wednesday night. "I didn't think I could do it. That was not one of my goals. My first goal was a 200 average. I didn't expect to skip everything and go right to this."

Wenzel only has one 700 to her name - a 717 two years ago. She is quickly becoming one of the best female bowlers in Winona. Her 800 series put her average at 203 on Monday nights. If she stays there for the rest of the year, she will join a select few women who have ever averaged over 200 for a year.

Last year Wenzel averaged a career-high189 in the Pin Topplers League. She was crowned Division 1 doubles champion with Lindsay Serwa in this year's Women's City Bowling Tournament, and she now has 16 national honor counts this season. She also bowls Thursday in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl, where she rolled a 666 last week.

Monday's score came as a surprise because Wenzel didn't realize just how well she was bowling. The automatic scorers on lanes 15-16 at Westgate were not working that night, so the teams had to keep score on paper.

"I didn't even look at the sheet," she said. "I just felt good. I was in a zone. My mind was just there."

Wenzel blew the first frame of the second game before throwing 10 straight strikes. She spared the first frame of the final game, then threw another 10 in a row.

When her score was added up, she got a big hug from one of her biggest fans - her aunt, Shirley Benedict.

"Shirley's been there for me," Wenzel said. "She's the one I started bowling with when I was 15. I was there when she bowled her 700 this year. It was nice to have her around."

Gardner Memorial

There are still 17 spots available for the Geoff Gardner Memorial Bowling Tournament, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, at Westgate Bowl.

As of Thursday night, 47 teams had registered for the Baker doubles tournament. Registration forms are available at both Westgate and Winona Bowl. The cost is $40 per team. The registration deadline is Saturday, Feb. 23.

Who's hot?

Sizzling is probably a better word to describe Krystal Dorman's game these days. After rolling a pair of 700 series two weeks ago, Dorman duplicated the feat last week.

She tossed a 700 (232-249-219) Monday in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl, then came back Wednesday with a 711 (216-248-247) in the Lamplighter League. Dorman now has seven 700s this season.

Number 779 was lucky for Brian Fakler this past week. That's the score he fired Friday in the Legion League at Winona Bowl, and the same series he ended with Monday night in the City League.

Two other bowlers broke the 750 mark last week. Jason Michalak fired a 762 series in the Action League, and Nick Heilman added a 754 in the American League - both at Westgate.

Chuck Lammers rolled the 11th 300 game of the season last Friday in the Masters League at Westgate. He ended with a 721 honor count.

Monday night was special for a pair of bowlers at Winona Bowl. On one end of the house, John Kouba turned in his first career honor count with a 715 series in the City League. On the other end, Katie Meadows rolled a 604 in the Spinners League for her first 600 series.

Rounding out the men's 700s last week were Andy Jackson (730), Josh Wenzel (730), Greg Schewe (724), Chris Levitt (723), Mike King (723), Bruce Malewicki (718), Steve Drazkowski (718), Aaron Spitzer (712), Bob Pozanc (707), Brandon Verbout (707), Joe Jasnoch (705), Ed Becker (705), Darrin Aarre (703), Dave Rinn (701), Bob Prenot (701) and Leo Stencel (700).

Other women's honor counts for the week were turned in by Keri Prigge (659), Mandi Steffes (659), Keri Wegman (640), Shirley Benedict (626), Faith McFarlin (622), Laurie Wiseman (619), Tanya Schamaun (617), Diane Marley (612) and Julie Moldenhauer (601).

Nancy Hanson fired her first career 500 series with a 527 Monday in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate. And last Saturday in the Next Generation League at Winona Bowl, Joe Braatz paced the junior leagues with a 705 series.



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