Erin McCarthy earns top seed for TV show at 2015 USBC Queens


    2015 PWBA Tour #1

    Joining McCarthy in the live ESPN2 finals Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern will be Liz Johnson, Shannon Pluhowsky, defending champion Maria Rodriguez and Liz Kuhlkin

    2015USBCQueensErinMcCarthy.jpgErin McCarthy (pictured left) of Omaha, Nebraska, saved her best performance of the week for the right time and averaged 261 in her final two matches Monday to earn the top seed for the televised finals of the 2015 United States Bowling Congress Queens, a Professional Women's Bowling Association event.

    2015USBCWCLizJohnson.jpgThe 24-year-old right-hander downed Singapore's Kristin Quah, 771-603, to guarantee herself a spot on the TV show and then defeated USBC Hall of Famer Liz Johnson (right) of Cheektowaga, New York, 795-651, to lock up the No. 1 spot at The Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley in Green Bay, Wis.

    "This feels surreal, and I don't even think it has sunk in yet," said McCarthy, a Team USA member. "I'm going to treat tomorrow like a brand new tournament and just try to throw the 10 best shots I can."

    The event will conclude with the live ESPN2 finals Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern. The tournament champion will take home the coveted Queens tiara and $20,000 top prize. The total prize fund at the 2015 event is more than $125,000.

    2014USBCQMariaJoseRodriguez.jpgJohnson, the 2009 USBC Queens champion, will be the No. 2 seed, while 2006 winner Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, defending champion Maria Jose Rodriguez (left) of Austin, Texas, and former collegiate standout Liz Kuhlkin of Schenectady, New York, advanced to the stepladder finals through a four-bowler shootout round.

    Pluhowsky earned the third seed with a 681 series in the shootout and was followed by Rodriguez (667) and Kuhlkin (661). Quah posted a 591 set and was eliminated. She finished sixth overall this week.

    Tuesday's telecast won't be the first TV appearance for McCarthy, who helped the University of Nebraska to an NCAA title in 2009 and led Midland to a runner-up finish at the 2012 XBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships, but it will be her first time under the lights without a team behind her.

    "It's great to be out there with a team behind you, but I'm really looking forward to this new experience, too," McCarthy said. "I struggled during qualifying and drilled a ball that really gave me some room out there, so I feel pretty good. I wanted to do well, but I never expected to be the No. 1 seed. This is pretty amazing."

    McCarthy is looking to become the third consecutive No. 1 seed to win the Queens, but the rest of the field is motivated, too.

    Should Rodriguez come away with another victory, she would become just the fifth woman to successfully defend a Queens title, joining Katsuko Sugimoto (1981-82), Donna Adamek (1979-80), Dorothy Fothergill (1972-73) and Millie Ignizio (1970-71).

    Johnson and Pluhowsky also are looking to join the other eight bowlers who have won multiple titles since the Queens began in 1961, with USBC Hall of Famers Wendy Macpherson and Ignizio as the only three-time winners. The other two-time champions are Lynda Barnes (1998, 2008), Kelly Kulick (2007, 2010) and Aleta Sill (1983, 1985).

    More than 200 players bowled 15 games of qualifying over three days to determine the 63 bowlers who would join Rodriguez in match play.


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    2015 USBC Queens - Winners Bracket Round 2

    Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall; winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket.

    (64) Natalie Cortese, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, def. (16) Jodi Woessner, Oregon, Ohio, 648-615
    (8) Kristin Quah, Singapore, def. (24) Kristina Wendell, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 736-639
    (37) Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., def. (12) Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 641-607
    (52) Karen Marcano, Venezuela, def. (4) Kim Kearney, Grand Prairie, Texas, 676-634

    (35) Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, def. (19) Leanne Hulsenberg, North Ogden, Utah, 627-605
    (11) Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y., def. (6) Diana Zavjalova, Beavercreek, Ohio, 657-605
    (7) Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. (10) Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 695-693
    (18) Brittany Smith, Des Moines, Iowa, def. (31) Clara Guerrero, Pflugerville, Texas, 643-580


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 3

    Losers eliminated, earn $1,200

    (25) Birgit Poeppler, Germany, def. (32) Giselle Poss, Montgomery, Ill., 744-543
    (3) Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, def. (9) Laura Beuthner, Germany, 678-570
    (60) Kimi Davidson, Irving, Texas, def. (50) Shannon Labinski, Wauwatosa, Wis., 580-552
    (2) Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., def. (39) Trisha Reid, Columbus, Ohio, 697-593

    (56) Brenda Padilla, Mansfield, Texas, def. (17) Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 645-621
    (40) Iliana Lomeli, Mexico, def. (33) Bryanna Caldwell, Red Rock, Ariz., 623-619
    (63) Jackie Carbonetto, Blauvelt, N.Y., def. (58) Pamela Alvarez, Mexico, 666-647
    (36) Amanda Greene, Romney, W. Va., def. (5) Brittni Hamilton, Wood Ridge, N.J., 695-690


    2015 USBC Queens - Winners Bracket Round 3

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket.

    Quah def. Cortese, 696-621
    McCarthy def. Marcano, 678-573
    Kuhlkin def. Rodriguez, 672-640
    Johnson def. Smith, 627-586


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 4

    Losers eliminated, earn $1,400

    Asbaty def. Poeppler, 595-566
    Restrepo def. Kearney, 663-647
    Woessner def. Davidson, 619-614
    Kulick def. Wendell, 643-565

    Guerrero def. Padilla, 675-638
    Pluhowsky def. Lomeli, 769-706
    Zavjalova def. Carbonetto, 717-670
    Hulsenberg def. Greene, 705-639


    2015 USBC Queens - Winners Bracket Round 4

    Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket.

    McCarthy def. Quah, 771-603
    Johnson def. Kuhlkin, 682-612


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 5

    Losers eliminated, earn $1,600

    Asbaty def. Restrepo, 659-585
    Woessner def. Kulick, 690-625
    Pluhowsky def. Guerrero, 752-624
    Zavjalova def. Hulsenberg, 680-647


    2015 USBC Queens - Winners Bracket Round 5

    Winner earns for No. 1 seed for TV show; Loser is No. 2 seed.

    McCarthy def. Johnson, 795-651


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 6

    Losers eliminated, earn $2,000

    Asbaty def. Smith, 597-581
    Rodriguez def. Woessner, 650-629
    Pluhowsky def. Marcano, 742-673
    Cortese def. Zavjalova, 641-634


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 7

    Losers eliminated, earn $2,400

    Rodriguez def. Asbaty, 650-583
    Pluhowsky def. Cortese, 667-578


    2015 USBC Queens - Elimination Bracket Round 8

    Three highest scores advance to finals and are seeded by three-game shootout pinfall - lowest score is eliminated, earns $3,000.

    Pluhowsky, 681; Rodriguez, 667; Kuhlkin, 661; Quah, 591.