Margie Wiedel, who was raised in Howard County and lives in Columbia, began bowling tenpins as a teen-ager, quit for a while and returned to the lanes a few years ago.
Now secretary and treasurer of the Friday morning Pathfinders at Brunswick Columbia, she restricts her bowling to that single league.
"I've never really taken bowling seriously," said Wiedel, a 142-average bowler. "For me, it's been a lot of fun. My 10-pound Lazer bowling ball still gets a lot of laughs but a heavier ball just puts too much strain on my arm."
If used properly, a 10-pound tenpin bowling ball can get the job done. Sometimes it can be devastating.
On March 18, on the lanes at Columbia, in Wiedel's regular league, it became an awesome weapon.
The first game of 151 was only a few pins over her average, but the second proved to be something a bit different.
"I started to strike," she said. "About the six or seventh frame I started to get a little nervous, nervous enough to ask the other women not to go to other teams and say anything, I didn't want a crowd watching me."
In the eighth frame Wiedel calmed the butterflies and stepped on the approach. She took a step, started her arm swing and had pins fall out of the overhead rack onto her lane.
"I almost had a heart attack," she said. "But I just reracked the pins and threw another strike."
And another in the ninth frame. A 300 game beckoned, just 60 feet and three balls away.
"Now I was nervous, my knees were shaking. I just knew the minute that I threw the first ball [in the 10th frame] that it wasn't going to be a strike," she said. "I left seven pins and picked up another with my last ball."
That's still nine strikes in a row and a career-high 263 game.
It takes a lot of patience
Terry Logan had been trying for a long time to post the elusive 300 game. Bowling for 33 years, the 216-average tenpin bowler has seen bowlers who possess less skill and dedication achieve it.
Competing in a single league, the Wednesday Funtime Anytime at Brunswick Normandy, Logan spends a lot of weekends on the tour circuit.
"Since I carry a PBA card, I miss out on a lot of amateur events," he said.
Quiet and unassuming, Logan is reluctant to talk about his exploits on the lanes. He's quick to point out
the time, though, that he had 11 strikes and needed only one more for the perfect game.
"That happened last year," he said. "I got lazy with the last ball and had to settle for a 297 game. This time [March 16] I can say that I put all 12 balls right into the pocket."
Ed Lanehart, bowling just a few lanes away from Logan, confirmed that.
"Every ball Terry threw was just where it should be," Lanehart said. "That was a beautiful game. The 11th strike had one pin that was a little slow to fall so with his last [12th] ball he reached back for a little more and blasted all 10 pins into the pit."
Free State tournament
The Free State Classic Tenpin
Tour drew 102 entries to Normandy on March 12-13 to compete for a prize total in excess of $2,000.
Dave Crandell of Bowie fired a 756 series to win the $800 first prize.
Butch Thompson of Freeland, was second, and William Matthews of Baltimore placed third.
Swingers win tournament
The 38th annual Championship Tournament of the Baltimore Women's Bowling Association drew 180 teams, 298 doubles and 576 singles to Brunswick Columbia March 5-6 and March 12-13.
The Columbia Swingers -- Bettie Shoemaker, Priscilla Clark, Diane Pezzano and Paula Gibson -- were team champions in the handicap division with a total of 2,677 pins.