RENO, Nev. - Brittany Pratt of Citrus Heights, Calif., had a career day at the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships as she used the momentum of a 298 game to take the lead in Scratch and Diamond Singles on Sunday.
The 21-year-old right-hander rolled games of 192, 298 and 246 to finish with a 736 series. She entered the 2012 event with a 201 average and received an additional 19 pins of handicap per game to finish with a 793 handicap total. Tammy Kramer of Orangevale, Calif., previously led Scratch Singles with 717, while Jacqueline WatkinsAshby of Philadelphia held the top spot in Diamond Singles with 785.
Both the 298 and 736 were career highs for Pratt, who made her USBC Women's Championships debut this year at the National Bowling Stadium. The 3-10 stood in the way of her first career 300 game and the 16th perfect game in the 93-year history of the tournament. A ball change early in her singles event helped Pratt pile on the strikes and race up the leaderboard.
"In the fifth frame of the first game, I switched to something that went down a little longer and hit a little harder on the backend," said Pratt, who bowls at Steve Cook's Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights. "It was the right move and actually worked for me."
Pratt maintained her composure and relied on past experiences as all eyes at the Stadium focused on her attempt to add her name to the record books.
"I was just going through the list," Pratt said. "Don't be nervous. Don't tug it. Keep the ball speed the same. On the 11th shot, I became so nervous I started to shake, so I decided to back off the approach. I wish I did it on the last ball because I had the same feeling, but I felt like going for it."
After the excitement of her second game, Pratt still needed a strong finish to take the lead. A clutch double in the ninth and 10th frames put her in position to claim a Women's Championships title in her first attempt.
"Well, this is my first Women's Championships, so I'm actually surprised at how I did," Pratt said. "It would mean a lot to win because I just moved up from juniors. I'm excited, and I think I'm going to come back and continue to bowl this tournament."
Pratt fared well in her other events, too, and is sitting in the top five in Scratch and Diamond All-Events. She added 668 in team and 590 in doubles to finish with a scratch all-events total of 1,994, which is good for fifth place. Her handicap all-events total is 2,165, which is third. Beckie Eynon of Apalachin, N.Y., leads Scratch All-Events with 2,093, and Mihoko Matsuoka of Japan leads Diamond All-Events with 2,214.
The Diamond Division includes bowlers with averages of 180 and above, with handicap based on 100 percent of 220.
Presenting sponsors for the 2012 USBC Women's Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado Hotel Casino and Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Harrah's Reno Casino, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Humana, official registration sponsor, Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, Nationwide Insurance, Sands Regency Casino Hotel and Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa and MyBowlingVacation.com.