Sapphire Division gets new team leader

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - It isn't a trip to the USBC Women's Championships unless the members of Bernie's Alterations of Pleasant Lake, Ind., are getting lost, making U-turns and arguing with the car's GPS.

This time, however, regardless of how many times they got lost on their drive to Syracuse, the group was able to navigate its way into the lead in Sapphire Team with a 2,455 total at the Oncenter Convention Center on Saturday.

"It kind of came as a surprise to suddenly do so well," said team captain Kimberly Gibson, a medical records secretary at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind. "We came to realize by just looking around us that our scores were higher than the other numbers on the scoreboard, but we didn't realize how high until I glanced at the leaderboard after we were done. Still, when I told the rest of my team, they didn't believe me."

Gibson led the way for Bernie's Alterations with a 542 series and was followed by Theresa Osborn (524), Bernice Sherman (438), Verna Rakestrow (409) and Sharon Hantz (395) for a 2,308 scratch total. Additional 49 pins of handicap per game helped them past NE Strike and Spare Bowl of Lexington, Neb., which previously held the lead with 2,393.

"It's an awesome feeling, and we sure hope the score holds," Gibson said. "We're pretty down to earth and not really serious bowlers, but we enjoy the fun and fellowship."

This marked a 20th trip to the Women's Championships for three team members, while the other two have 19 and 10 years, respectively.