Diane Marley’s been around bowling long enough to know that what works one night doesn’t necessarily work the same way the next time out.
Over the years, she’s learned to adapt, and it’s made her one of the best and most consistent bowlers in Winona.
“The lane conditions are different every night and I’m different every night,” Marley said. “What might work one night won’t work the next. If I don’t bowl a 600, I’m kind of disappointed. But I don’t go out with a 670 in mind.
“One thing I don’t like is to throw that doinker game in there -- when you have two good games and one real bad one. I’d rather be consistent.”
The 45-year-old Marley is having the finest year of her great bowling career. On Wednesday nights, she’s averaging a career-high 213 in the Lamplighter League at Winona Bowl.
She also bowls part-time on Mondays in the Spinners League and in the every-other-Saturday Mixed Nuts League, both at Winona Bowl, where her average is hovering around the 205 mark. This year will mark the sixth consecutive season that she’s averaged over 200.
“I’m doing better with 10 pins,” Marley said. “I went in streaks before where I’d get them all one night and miss them all the next. I’ve had my 10-pin ball for four or five years and I’m getting more consistent with it.
“I don’t have as many opens. If I have one, it’s usually a split. And the strikes are also there. I’m stringing them together.”
Monday night, Marley tossed a 668 series in the Spinners League. That gives her 19 scores of 650 or better this year, which includes four 700s.
Marley is rather surprised that her scores and average have been so big this year, considering the slow start she got off to. She had an ingrown toenail removed twice -- once at the start of the season and once about a month into it. She also experienced some back problems early on.
“I was having so much trouble with my back and ingrown toenail,” she said. “The first month or month and a half weren’t the greatest. I wasn’t very comfortable on the lanes. But I think having that toenail removed helped me stay down at the line a lot better. It’s helped my back too. You kind of compensate for it.”
The season might to coming to an end too soon for Mandi Steffes, who has certainly found her touch in the past week.
Subbing in the Sparklers League at Winona Bowl last Thursday, Steffes nailed a 678 honor count for the high women’s score of the week. She came back Monday with a 671 series in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate Bowl, and added a 644 Wednesday in the Mixers League at Westgate.
Lisa Pietkauskis scored well Monday in the Spinners League with a 664.
Also turning in honor counts for the gals were Keri Prigge (636), Barb Brandes (634), Angie Booher (617, 603) and Monica Holland (613).
The two biggest scores for men both came out of Winona Bowl, as did the top two games. Geoff Schewe knocked down a 764 series last Friday in the Legion League, while Brian Fakler came in with a 763 score Monday in the City League.
Also last Friday in the Legion League, Gary Kluzik carded his second career 300 game. Jerry Bublitz came up a pin short Monday with a 299 in the City League.
Other big scores for the men came from Scott Schultz (743), Brad Kanz (741), Wes Palokangas (739), Jamie Kouba (733), Brad Bartelson (733), Steve Nelton (729), Kluzik (727), Jason Michalak (718), Bublitz (718), Mike Durnen (718), Brent Gora (715), Dustin Brown (714), Paul Jandt (711), Bob Prenot (707), Greg Schewe (707), Josh Wenzel (703), Curt Czaplewski (702) and John Glowczewski (701).