EL PASO, Texas - United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of Keller, Texas, rolled 1,224 for five games to take the lead in the opening round of the 2010 USBC Queens.
The 2001 Queens champion shot games of 213, 277, 245, 230 and 259 to pace the field. Debbie Ayers of El Cajon, Calif., who led after the first round of qualifying, is currently sitting in second with 1,219, while Jessica Baker of Wichita, Kan., rolled one of the two 300 games on the day to end up in third with 1,215.
USBC Hall of Famer and 1999 Queens champion Leanne Hulsenberg of Roseville, Calif., and 2007 Queens champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., round of the top five with matching totals of 1,204.
Dorin-Ballard, who was recently named Bowler of the Decade by Bowlers Journal International, knew she had to take advantage of what the lanes were offering after watching the first squad earlier Saturday afternoon at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.
"From the first squad, I saw that the lanes were very scoreable," said Dorin-Ballard, who was a 20-time titlist on the PWBA tour. "I wanted to make sure I executed and had the right ball in my hands. I knew I had to keep up with the field."
Dorin-Ballard knows the challenges that lie ahead as a past champion. She looks to put herself in the same place during Sunday's second qualifying round.
"I was working on my game coming in, and just have to keep at it," she said. "I want to develop the same feel, the same timing on every shot. I need to go out there tomorrow and get as many pins as I can."
Although the coveted tiara and $25,000 first-place check is the main reason the top professional and amateur female competitors made their way to El Paso, Dorin-Ballard also looks forward to this event for a chance to see many familiar faces.
"I love coming to this tournament," she said. "We always bowl in the Women's Championships right before, so I get to bowl with some of my friends and my sister, who I don't get too see very often. So it really sets the tone for a good week. It almost feels like the old days seeing so many people I know. I just hope my ball keeps striking more than everyone else."
Shayna Ng of Singapore joined Baker by rolling the tournament's first 300 in her first game of qualifying. She ended the day with an 1,190 total, putting her in seventh place.
Sunday's second round will consist of another five games, with the field being cut to the top 79. Monday will feature an additional five games of qualifying before the field is cut to the top 63, as defending champion Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., will join the field as they head into the double-elimination match play bracket. The championship round will be televised live on ESPN2 on Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. EDT.
SCHULTZ SETS SENIOR QUEENS RECORD; LEADS ROUND 1
Patti Schultz of Braidwood, Ill., had the highest five-game block in USBC Senior Queens history as she took the first-round qualifying lead Saturday.
Schultz shot 1,171, an average of 234.2, at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center to top the old record of 1,117 set by Lucy Sandelin in 2009.
Schultz, a 52-year-old special needs teacher, had games of 226, 222, 212, 236 and 275, including a string of 10 consecutive strikes the last game.
"I got into a good rhythm and stayed with my game plan," said Schultz, who finished fourth at the 2007 Senior Queens in her only other appearance in the event. "I wouldn't say that I bowled great today. I gave up 55 pins on five missed easy spares."
Pamela Lawrence of Pflugerville, Texas, is second just 16 pins behind Schultz with 1,155, while Sharon Powers of Lakewood, Colo., is third at 1,135. Last year's runner-up, Dana Miller-Mackie of Albuquerque, N.M., is fourth with 1,129.
All 101 players in the field will complete their 10-game qualifying Sunday before the field is cut to the top 39 for Monday's final five-game qualifying round. The top 31 players then join defending champion Janine Primrose of Gardernville, Nev., in the double-elimination match-play bracket starting Monday afternoon.