Marshall Battaglia has been bowling duckpins for 15 of his 24 years. This year he entered his first tournament, the Coors Cutter $25,000 Duckpin Classic.
After his experience in that, he'll be entering more tournaments, that's for sure.
Battaglia had to qualify at Fair Lanes Southwest, his home center, for the national finals on May 16 and 17 at T-Bowl Lanes in Newington, Conn. He did that and made the long trip to Connecticut. He finished third out of a field of 135 men's finalists.
In the stepladder finals, Battaglia defeated Jim Mowrey of Berwyn Heights, 165-161. Then John Braitsch, who went on to win the tournament, outscored Battaglia, 232-176.
Braitsch threw a 197 scratch game in that match and went on to defeat Craig Roemer of Glen Burnie, 178-147.
Battaglia bowls in three leagues at Southwest, the Friday Nite Colt Corral, the Saturday Big Bucks and the Sunday Triples. He has a career-high game of 199 and high series of 495.
He said simply, "I love bowling, that's all there is, I just love duckpins."
Joy Smith loves just "goofin' around." That's how she describes the career-high 290 tenpin game she threw on May 12 at Greenway Bowl Odenton.
"It was the last night of the league, and we need one game to win it," she said. "We won the first game, and everyone relaxed. In fact, we said that we'd start throwing back-up balls in the last two games. I said, 'OK, as soon as I have an open frame, I'll do that.' "
Smith spared in the opening frame, struck in the second frame, and struck and struck and struck and kept on striking, taking it off the sheet. She never did have an open frame.
She bracketted that 290 game with a 187 and a 232 for a fine 704 series.
The Sun Valley resident is married to Mark Smith, a tenpin bowler who is assistant manager at Greenway East, a duckpin center. They are the parents of Lauren, 3, Justin, 4, and Ashley, 5.
Peggy Tully of Greenway Bowl Odenton has just announced the first Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour Regional Open tournament, to be conducted the second weekend in August.
The Youth and Adult Pro-Am squads will compete on Friday, Aug. 7. This is a chance to bowl with the women of the professional tour. Every youth who bowls in the Pro-Am will receive a shirt designed for the event, and the top five finishers will receive a trophy.
If you know Tully, you know this will be an outstanding tournament. If you would like to be a part of the excitement, call her at 551-7100.
She needs help, scorekeepers, for sure. This is a great way to meet top professional bowlers. Sign up to bowl, sign up to help. You'll have a lot of fun.
The National Bowling Council has taken a lot of time and trouble put together a history of women and bowling, called "Rolling Through Time," that paints an extraordinary portrait of women and bowling.
It began in 1901 in Chicago. There, Mussey's Alleys presented a small women's tournament on the heels of the first men's national tournament, conducted by the American Bowling Congress in the same city.
In 1904, a bowling center in Dayton, Ohio, opened lanes on the second floor specifically for women bowlers.
In 1907, the second women's tournament was conducted just after the conclusion of the ABC tournament in St. Louis. Birdie Kem become a hometown heroine with games of 169, 171 and 203 for first place.
In 1916, 40 women combined forces in St. Louis to create the Women's National Bowling Association, later named the Women's International Bowling Congress.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.