A little help from a friend pays dividends


On a day when the pins stop falling, a friend can help your game and with just a tiny bit of advice, get your game back on track.

For Cindy Bellin, that help came from Artis Booker Sr.

Bellin bowls in two leagues at Brunswick Normandy, the Thursday mixed league and the Sunday Colts and Fillies.

"I started bowling tenpins in 1980," Bellin said. "I quit for a couple years and now I'm back into the sport again."

Nine months ago she purchased a 15-pound Tropical Storm bowling ball and her game improved. But not as much as she'd wanted.

4 In the 1993-94 season she carried a 171 average.

"When the new season began I was hoping that I could look forward to a good season," she said. "But I was struggling."

Enter Booker.

"I can't thank him enough," Bellin said. "One day he told me that I was dropping my shoulder. That's all it took. Suddenly I was a lot better bowler."

Last month, Bellin rolled three fine games, 214, 236 and 236, for a 686 series.

Booker has been bowling since 1978. A scratch tenpin bowler, he bowls four nights a week and has a 300 game and a 736 high

set. And, it appears, he can coach.

Converting the 7-10 split

A perfect pocket hit is good news. The 7-10 split is bad news.

The seven-ten split conversion transcends good news.

"That's the way the game goes," Scott Borland said. "Sometimes a pocket hit just doesn't carry. Then you get lucky on the split."

Borland, 32, has been employed by the Brunswick corporation at their Columbia facility for six years.

Currently averaging 210, he's never thrown a sanctioned 300 game.

"I've shot a 289," he said. "And I've got seven 300 games that are unsanctioned and at Country Club [lanes] I've had an 812 series. Now that I've got the 800 set ring, I can wait for the 300."

One other thing he has: the knowledge that he converted the infamous 7-10 split.

In the second week of the new fall/winter season, the right-hander fired a bowling ball into the pocket. And watched in disbelief as the 7- and 10-pins stood solidly.

"I wasn't really thinking about making the split," he said. "I just fired the ball, hard, at the 10-pin."

That ball hit the 10-pin almost flush on the nose, drove it back into the pit. The pin then bounced back, almost straight back, hit the pindeck about where the 9-pin would normally be and rolled over to the left and took out the 7-pin.

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