Ruby, Emerald lead changes highlight week at 2021 Women's Championships

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By Aaron Smith and Ikra Zakir
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev.
- There are less than two weeks remaining at the 2021 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, and the final push for spots at the top of the leaderboard are taking place every day at the National Bowling Stadium.

In the last several days, new leaders have emerged in Ruby and Emerald All-Events and Ruby Doubles, along with a tie for the lead in Amethyst Doubles.

LaShun Vessel of Houston (pictured above) made an impressive debut at the 2021 USBC Women's Championships on her way to the lead in Ruby All-Events, finishing with a 1,958 total.

She rolled sets of 686 in singles, 662 in doubles and 610 in team at the NBS to secure the top spot. Rose Waters of Auburn Hills, Michigan, previously led with 1,950.

Vessel's steady performance also saw her move into the top 10 in Ruby Doubles and Ruby Singles. She paired with Sandra Rouse of Tomball, Texas, and sits in third place in doubles with 1,215, and her singles performance currently places her in a tie for sixth.

Vessel used games of 192, 266 and 228 in singles to make her push to the all-events lead. She recorded a spare in her final frame to secure her spot at the top of the standings.

She said her keys to success included focusing on her target and making sure to follow through on each shot.

Vessel was excited to share the success with her teammates, and she's now looking forward to seeing if her score will hold until the conclusion of the 2021 event, which wraps up July 4.

"I was ecstatic when I found out I took the lead," Vessel said. "It would mean so much if I won. It means all the hard work and practice paid off."

Ruby All-Events includes bowlers with entering averages of 161-174.

Kimberly Ruiz-Grewen of Canton, Georgia, rolled the first 1,800 in the Emerald Division at the 2021 event to move into the lead with 1,809. Cindy Pate of Lafayette, Louisiana, had led Emerald All-Events since April 26 with 1,765.

Ruiz-Grewen, who made her fourth Women's Championships appearance, rolled sets of 629 in singles, 625 in team and 555 in doubles to take over the top spot.

Emerald All-Events includes bowlers with entering averages of 149-160.

062221_Vines-Mathis and Putibet_845Bettie Vines-Mathis of Park Forest, Illinois, and Jennifer Putibet of Maywood, Illinois, paired together to take the Ruby Doubles lead with a 1,285 total.

Putibet led the way with games of 180, 259 and 227 for a 666 series, and Vines-Mathis added games of 193, 215 and 211 for a 619 series. Chong McHugh and Eunsook So of Fort Worth, Texas, had led with 1,259.

Putibet made her third Women's Championships appearance this year in Reno, and she was happy to see the work she's put into her game turn into success on the national stage.

"I tried to get out of my own head and let the ball do the work," said Putibet, who added sets of 594 in team and 539 in singles for a 1,799 all-events total. "I have worked so hard to become a better bowler, so it would mean the world to me if we were able to win."

Vines-Mathis has been a team coordinator for many years at the Women's Championships, and this year she organized seven teams to compete at the event.

She made her 23rd tournament appearance at the 2021 event, and she's excited to be in position to win.

"We were having fun, but we also wanted to win for the first time," said Vines-Mathis, who also rolled 545 in team and 516 in singles for a 1,680 all-events total. "I love bowling in the Women's Championships, and it would mean a lot to win."

Ruby Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 322-349.

Rhonda White of Odessa, Texas, and Mallory Tozier of Boulder, Colorado, tied for the lead in Amethyst Doubles at the NBS with a 1,012 total. Their effort matched the score posted by Christine Martin of St. Paul Park, Minnesota, and Robin Burks of Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

White led the way with games of 148, 194 and 205 for a 547 series, and Tozier added games of 154, 146 and 165 for a 465 set.

Amethyst Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 250-275.