Boomershine, Asbaty roll perfect games at 2018 USBC Women's Championships

RENO, Nev. - There were plenty of fireworks during the final squad before a break at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, which will take a brief hiatus to welcome the USBC Queens to the National Bowling Stadium.

Three-time USBC Women's Championships titlist Lindsay Boomershine of Perry, Utah, and 2012 Queens champion Diandra Asbaty of Chicago each made their way into the tournament's record book by posting perfect games Wednesday, while Jennifer Williamson of Stafford, Virginia, and Carolyn Rice of Casa Grande, Arizona, moved into the lead in Sapphire Singles and Amethyst Singles, respectively.

The 2018 Queens will take place at the 78-lane venue starting Thursday with the opening round of qualifying, and the event will conclude live on CBS Sports Network on May 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern. The 2018 Women's Championships will resume competition May 23 and run daily until the tournament ends July 1.

Boomershine was the first to strike Wednesday as she finished her doubles set with the 26th 300 game in Women's Championships history. She also was the first bowler to accomplish the feat since the 2014 event, held down the street at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

The 32-year-old right-hander began doubles with games of 229 and 233 and finished with a 762 series. Her overall effort placed her in third place in Diamond All-Events with a 2,065 total, which included a 746 set in team and 557 in singles. Team USA's Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, leads with 2,128.

Boomershine was hoping to return to the top of the all-events standings at the NBS, where she collected all three of her titles during the 2012 Women's Championships, including Scratch All-Events. Although singles didn't go as she hoped Wednesday, she was excited to add a new accomplishment to her growing resume.

"The pair started to get extremely wet-dry as the pattern broke down, and I really wanted to roll the ball to the spot that had broken down," said Boomershine, who also won the Scratch and Diamond Doubles titles in 2012 with Elysia Current. "That ended up working out really well, and at that point I knew I had an opportunity to take over all-events. The pair was getting a little funky, and even though it ended up not going my way, I was really excited because I have never shot 300 in any sort of tournament over the course of my career."

The 300 also marked a milestone for her family. Her husband, Hank, rolled a 300 of his own at the 2003 USBC Open Championships in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Being able to find success again at the NBS gives Boomershine confidence heading into the Queens, and sharing it with family and friends made it more memorable.

"I love bowling here," said Boomershine, who made her ninth tournament appearance. "And it's even more fun with the group of teams we have here. Most of us bowled together in college, and it was great to have them here for this moment."

DiandraAsbaty_637Asbaty posted her perfect effort during the second game of singles after making a big move to her left on the lanes. She surrounded her 300 with games of 206 and 223 for a 729 series, which is good for third place in Diamond Singles. Joely O'Grady of Rahway, New Jersey, set the bar for Diamond Singles on Tuesday with 754.

Asbaty's overall performance pushed her into second place in Diamond All-Events with 2,086. She added 695 in team and 662 in doubles.

The 37-year-old right-hander's jump to the left came after a consistent showing in her first four games at the NBS, but she was unable to string more than three strikes in a row.

"Honestly, the lanes were pretty different for me," said Asbaty, who made her 13th Women's Championships appearance. "They were reading a little different, and I decided to try a different look and stepped left. The ball was reading the midlane perfectly, and I ended up having some room. I didn't feel like I had to be perfect with it, and your swing gets really free when you feel like you don't have to hit one board."

After delivering her final strike, Asbaty thought of her son, Madden, who asked her a simple favor prior to her departure to Reno.

"As I was walking out the door to come here, my son said, "Mom, bowl 300,'" Asbaty said. "I said, 'OK, no problem,' so it was always in the back of my mind. I know he's going to get a kick out of watching that video knowing it was for him."

Asbaty was happy to be able to share in the experience with a group of longtime friends, and she believes that helped her along the way.

"I think my key to success was the company I was in," Asbaty said. "I was relaxed and having a good time bowling with old friends. It was really enjoyable, and I think it helped me stay free. It's a huge honor to be in this tournament's record book, knowing the history and the prestige. It's really a memorable moment in my career."

Diamond Singles and Diamond All-Events features bowlers with entering averages of 190 and above.

JenniferWilliamson_637For Williamson, Wednesday's performance was a personal best as she rolled games of 216, 151 and 215 to capture the top spot in Sapphire Singles with a 582 series. Sue Moen of Roscoe, Illinois, previously held the lead with 580.

Williamson, a 59-year-old right-hander, was surprised to find her score was enough to take the lead, and she delivered in the final frame to sneak into the top spot.

"I had no idea I was bowling this well," said Williamson, who made her 11th tournament appearance. "I knew my second game wasn't the best, but I never really thought about the standings."

Williamson enjoys participating at the Women's Championships for a chance to get away from home for a few days with a group of more than 20 bowlers. She sets a goal each year of bowling her average, and this year she easily surpassed that mark.

"We have some bowlers who are in the Diamond Division," said Williamson, who added sets of 480 in doubles and 437 team for a 1,499 all-events total. "It feels fantastic to score better than them and take the lead in my division."

Sapphire Singles consists of bowlers with averages of 145-159.

051618-Carolyn-Rice_637Rice, a 68-year-old left-hander, had quite the journey on her way to the Amethyst Singles lead, which consisted of games of 159, 192 and 191 for a 542 series, surpassing Linda Lam of Oak Park, Illinois, who previously topped the standings with 537.

Before her run in singles Wednesday, Rice began to feel some effects setoff by her diabetes.

"My sugar really dropped, I was having a terrible time and I bowled one of the worst series I've had in a long time," said Rice, who made her ninth Women's Championships appearance. "Thank goodness I was able to recover and came back with a good series."

Rice's performance in singles echoed her ability to fight through anything in order to compete on the lanes.

"I have chronic lymphocytic leukemia," Rice said. "And I didn't have the strength to bowl for many years. When they had me on the top of it, I had so many prescriptions. I decided I wasn't going to live like that, so I started to bowl again around 2009. The doctors said no because the ball was too heavy, but I started using a 10-pound ball. They said to not go any heavier, so I went to 12 pounds. A year later, I was using 14 pounds, which I still use today."

Rice did note some disappointment in her performance due to opening the 10th frame in her second and third games of singles, but she knows she's going to have a good time if the score holds on and she can return to the 2019 event in Wichita, Kansas, as a defending champion.

"I let myself down in those frames, so I'm a little disappointed because I should have had two 200 games," Rice said. "But, I'm happy, and I'm going to be smiling all the way home. If it holds up, I would really look forward to having bragging rights in Wichita."

Amethyst Singles includes bowlers with entering averages of 130-144.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Women's Championships page.