Texas team takes lead at 2014 Women's Championships

By Aaron Smith and Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. - Fueled by a big second game, Lusha's Ladies of Frisco, Texas, moved into the Diamond Team lead at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships on Saturday.

Sandi Charles set the pace with a 701 series and helped Lusha's Ladies to games of 817, 983 and 851 for a 2,651 total, passing the 2,628 posted by 2013 Scratch Team champion Eagle's Edge Pro Shop of Carpentersville, Ill., on May 14.

Charles was joined at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center by Lisa Wasson (682), Tina Williams (682) and Genie Franklin (586).

The team's day on the lanes began hours earlier at the nearby National Bowling Stadium, where they completed their doubles and singles sets at the 2014 USBC Open Championships. They didn't have too much time to make the crosstown trip and prepare for their team event at the RSCC, but it didn't show.

Even though the hits didn't go their way at the NBS, everything eventually fell into place at the RSCC as they put themselves in position to move into the top spot.

"We ran over here, got set and tried to refocus," Franklin said. "We had a mission to come in and bowl well, make our spares and throw some strikes. For us to bowl a 983 and follow that up with 851 to take the lead is big. We had some trouble carrying at the Open, so we decided to leave that one behind us. We knew the conditions would be a little softer, and we were hoping to catch a little bit better carry over here. It worked out for us."

The tight-knit group has been competing together at the USBC Women's Championships for the past 10 years, and although they were elated to move into the lead, the moment was bittersweet after the recent death of one of their biggest supporters, Wasson's husband, Tam.

To honor his memory, influence and inspiration, the team wore black emblems with his initials.

"The girls I bowl with have taken really good care of me and have been with me through this whole thing," Wasson said. "He was supposed to bowl with us at the Open, so I was really pleased that I bowled well today to make him proud."

Although the top female bowlers in the world are making their way to Reno for the upcoming USBC Queens and Senior Queens this week, which will include a stop at the Women's Championships for many of them, the members of Lusha's Ladies feel confident about their score.

This year's Women's Championships is scheduled to conclude June 30, while the Queens and Senior Queens will take place at the National Bowling Stadium from June 27-July 3.

"All of the ladies are coming in for the Queens next week," Franklin said. "So a lot of the high-average bowlers haven't bowled yet. What we put up today, though, is a pretty strong number. We're hoping it's enough to hold on."

Teams competing in the Diamond Division have combined entering averages of 725 and above.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.