Washington bowlers take Emerald lead at 2019 USBC Women's Championships

By Christian Seaborn
USBC Communications

- Sonjia Shoemaker of Battle Ground, Washington, and Debie Watkins of Vancouver, Washington, may have had their trip to the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships start out cloudy, but the pair was shining bright on the way to the lead in Emerald Doubles.

Led by Watkins' 569 series Friday at Northrock Lanes, the duo edged their way into the top spot with a 1,118 total, surpassing the 1,114 score posted by Margaret Randall of Pine Valley, New York, and Vickie Tobias of Bath, New York, on April 22.

Watkins rolled games of 203, 167 and 199, while Shoemaker added 157, 169 and 223 for a 549 series.

Watkins and Shoemaker arrived in The Air Capital of the World on Wednesday to not-so-favorable weather conditions, which played some havoc on their bowling equipment.

"We were completely stressed out," said Shoemaker, who made her eighth USBC Women's Championships appearance. "All of our stuff was soaking wet. Our luggage was dripping wet. My bowling shoes were originally purple and white. Now, they're all just purple. It was horrible."

By Friday, they had worked past it and focused on the task of putting their names near the top of the standings.

Watkins was happy she was able to save her best set to help her doubles partner.

"My singles usually are better than my doubles," said Watkins, who also made her eighth tournament appearance. "There seemed to be one game in doubles that each of us messed up on, so taking the lead took us by surprise."

Shoemaker also would move into the top 10 in Sapphire All-Events, adding sets of 520 in singles and 488 in team for a 1,557 total to take over sixth place. Kellie Bowes of Eagan, Minnesota, leads Sapphire All-Events with 1,630.

Emerald Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 320-349. Sapphire All-Events includes bowlers with entering averages of 145-159.

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