RENO, Nev. - The leaderboard at the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships was shaken up this weekend as eight lead changes took place at the National Bowling Stadium.
Jennifer Asplin of Oakley, Calif., highlighted the scoring frenzy as she used the momentum of a 299 game during her team event to take over the top spots in Scratch All-Events and Scratch Doubles on Sunday.
The 36-year-old right-hander became just the 10th competitor in USBC Women's Championships history to roll a 299 game, which helped her to a 696 series in team. She followed that performance with 715 in singles and 710 in doubles to finish with a 2,121 all-events score. Beckie Eynon of Apalachin, N.Y., previously held the lead with 2,093.
Asplin teamed with Xan Halog, also from Oakley, to take the Scratch Doubles lead with a 1,361 total. Halog contributed a 651 set as the pair passed Cynthia Palmieri of Meriden, Conn., and Julie Schaeffer of Hamden, Conn., who previously held the lead with 1,358.
Asplin noticed that the crashing of pins at the one-of-a-kind Stadium came to a halt as she made her run at history. A 7 pin stood in the way of her becoming the 16th bowler in 93 years of Women's Championships competition to reach perfection on the tournament lanes.
"It got very quiet in the Stadium after my 11th strike," said Asplin, who made her fifth Women's Championships appearance. "I didn't look back to see who was watching, but I was very aware of the silence. I was a little nerve-wracking, but it always is. I just tried to have fun and enjoy the moment."
She credited staying aggressive during her doubles and singles events to her rise to the top of the standings.
Judy Gurney of Omaha, Neb., also saw her name atop the Scratch Singles standings after rolling games of 235, 268 and 238 for a 741 series Saturday. Brittany Pratt of Citrus Heights, Calif., previously held the lead with 736.
The 58-year-old right-hander was able to navigate the oil pattern with ease as she transitioned through her arsenal of equipment.
"I was happy with the oil pattern this year, although I returned to using my original ball out of the three I used," said Gurney, who made her 17th tournament appearance. "I still was able to get the ball to break at the right spot to the pocket with slight adjustments. This was one of the better looks I've had at the Women's Championships, so I sure hope the score holds."
Gurney added 626 in doubles and 588 in team to finish with a 1,955 all-events total.
In the Diamond Division, Michele Morris of Harvard, Ill., made her way to the top of the singles standings with an 805 handicap score Friday, while Pindemonium of Elgin, Ill., grabbed the team lead Sunday with 3,368. Pratt previously held the Diamond Singles lead with 793, and KOs Pro Shop 2 of Ankeny, Iowa, led Diamond Team with 3,327.
Morris, who entered the 2012 Women's Championships with a 182 average, rolled games of 234, 256 and 201 to finish with a scratch series of 691. An additional 38 pins of handicap per game helped her reach her final tally.
Pindemonium, which was led by Cathy Gober's 617 set, posted games of 1,011, 956 and 1,026 and received an additional 125 pins of handicap per game to get to the top of the standings. Gober was joined at the Stadium by Pam O'Neil (609), Terri Crawley (607), Melanie Anderson (602) and Sandy Koga (558).
The Ruby Division got new doubles and all-events leaders this weekend as Patricia Klinefelter of Deltona, Fla., and Debra Brouwer of New London, Conn., teamed up to post a 1,305 doubles effort Friday, and Karla Alsgood of Rio Linda, Calif., finished her 2012 event Sunday with a 1,925 handicap all-events total. Kiara and Erika Shambry of Camden, N.J., previously held the Ruby Doubles lead with 1,280, and Nicole Hibbered of Denver owned the Ruby All-Events lead with 1,877.
Klinefelter and Brouwer entered with a combined average of 327 and received an additional 33 pins of handicap per game. Brouwer paced the pair with a 696 series, and Klinefelter added 510.
Alsgood rolled 611 in doubles, 543 in singles and 528 in team to finish with a scratch all-events score of 1,682. She entered the 2012 event with a 153 average and received an additional 27 pins of handicap per game to race into the lead.
Sapphire Team also got a new leader Saturday as X-Out 4 of Lorton, Va., worked its way into the lead with games of 771, 831 and 787. An extra 60 pins of handicap per game helped the group to a 2,569 total. Pin Pals of Fort Collins, Colo., previously held the lead with 2,504.
Jessica Freeman led the way for X-Out 4 with a 586 series and was joined on the lanes by Sharon McNeil (512), Laura Henry (481), Julia WoodFolk (439) and Benita DeLaCruz (371).
The handicap format at the Women's Championships, which debuted at the 2010 tournament in El Paso, Texas, consists of three average-based divisions that are contested using 100 percent handicap.
The Diamond Division is made up of bowlers with averages of 180 and higher, with handicap based on 220. The Ruby Division pits bowlers with averages from 150-179, with handicap based on 180. The Sapphire Division is for bowlers with an average of 149 and below, with handicap based on 150.
The top scratch score in team, doubles, singles and all-events is recognized as overall tournament champion.
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.