Wisconsin pair rolls to Diamond Doubles lead at 2017 Women's Championships

By Scott Simon and Aaron Smith
USBC Communications

Charly Boelter of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Samantha Kelly of Waukesha, Wisconsin, began their Independence Day celebrations early with fireworks on the lanes at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, where they took the lead Monday in Diamond Doubles.

Boelter led the effort at the Raising Cane's River Center with games of 258, 245 and 203 for a 706 series, while Kelly added 257, 217 and 224 for a 698 set, pushing them to a 1,404 total. Mary Wells of Johnstown, Ohio, and Katelyn Simpson of Emmett, Idaho, previously held the lead with 1,378.

Although the 2017 event marks just the second time Boelter and Kelly have bowled together at the USBC Women's Championships, being on the leaderboard isn't new to them. They moved into second place at the 2016 tournament in Las Vegas, bowling on the same squad as eventual champions Shannon O'Keefe of O'Fallon, Illinois, and Kendra Gaines of Orlando, Florida, before eventually settling for a fourth-place finish.

With the strong start to their doubles set, Boelter admitted she thought about the chance at another run at the top of the standings.

"I did the math in my head and thought we were throwing it well enough to make a run," said Boelter, who made her 13th tournament appearance. "Having the experience of being in this position last year also helped."

Kelly, a former Junior Team USA member and Intercollegiate Team Championships winner with Robert Morris-Illinois in 2014, reiterated how last year's experience at the South Point Bowling Plaza helped them create the right attitude and goals heading to the River Center in 2017.

"When we came out, we said we wanted to win this year," said Kelly, who made her fifth Women's Championships appearance. "We knew we left a lot out there, and that could have been the difference in winning in Las Vegas. We communicated much better this year."

After a slow start to their 2017 campaign Sunday during the team event, Kelly and Boelter focused on putting that performance behind them as they looked forward to a new opportunity Monday.

"Last night, we had a long discussion about a plan of attack for today," Boelter said. "We broke down the lane ourselves, so we could create a bit of area we didn't have last night when we needed to adjust."

With only a week left before the final ball is rolled at the 2017 Women's Championships, Kelly and Boelter know they've done all they can in hopes of each claiming their first win at the event.

The 2017 event kicked off at the River Center on April 23 and will conclude July 10.

"We know there's a week left, and it is what it is," Kelly said. "If it's meant to happen, it'll happen. Right now, we're just going to go home and enjoy it."

Diamond Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 380 and above.

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