California bowler rolls perfect game at 2014 WC

By Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
After a slow start during her team event, Jeri Espinoza of South San Francisco, Calif., pulled out all the stops on the way to the second perfect game of the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships on Monday.

The 53-year-old right-hander started her day at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center with games of 154 and 155 before switching back to the ball she started with. That helped her become the 22nd bowler in the 95-year history of the USBC Women's Championships to achieve perfection on the championship lanes. She finished with a 609 series.

"I wasn't thinking about it because I bowled two not-so-good games to start," Espinoza said. "I normally don't look at the scoreboard, but I happened to glance up and saw I had five in a row. I didn't pay much attention until after number eight. I buried the ninth one."

In the 10th frame, Espinoza benefited from a Brooklyn strike on her first delivery and a late trip of the 4 pin on her second shot, before sealing her place in tournament history.

"I buried the 11th one, but the 4 pin stood up," Espinoza said. "All of a sudden, a pin rolled out of nowhere and knocked it over. I just lost my mother-in-law, so I knew she's the one who kicked that out for me. We bowled together for three years, and I know she had a hand in this for me. Because of her, I got up and threw the 12th one."

The perfect game was the first of Espinoza's career and a moment she surely won't forget. She added sets of 554 in doubles and 547 in singles to end her 2014 Women's Championships with an all-events total of 1,710, placing her just outside of the top 10 in Division 2. Mallory Nutting of Monmouth, Maine, leads with 1,853.

"Being my first 300 game makes it more special," Espinoza said. "It was on my bucket list, so I can knock that one off. It was an honor to make it happen here."

Bowlers competing in Division 2 have entering averages between 175-189.

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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.