After the final game of qualifying Thursday at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens, Inger Bortolazzo
of Santa Barbara, California, took her bowling equipment to her car, thinking she had just bowled herself out of the cut to match play.
She ended up holding on to one of the 32 spots in the double-elimination bracket, and now is one of eight undefeated players at Circle Bowl in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,
Along the way, Bortolazzo (pictured above) defeated three-time defending champion Robin Romeo of Newhall, California, and 2011 USBC Senior Queens champion Paula Vidad of Sun City, California.
Bortolazzo, who qualified 31st overall, rolled a 125 game to finish her third five-game qualifying block, but she knew she needed to refocus and take advantage of the opportunity, even if it meant returning to the same pair to face off against Romeo in the opening round of match play.
As the reigning champion, Romeo (left) was guaranteed at least the No. 32 spot in the bracket, but she was able to improve her seeding based on her performance in qualifying. Romeo averaged 198.8 and qualified second behind fellow USBC Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, who paced the 59-player field through 15 games with a 202.2 average.
“After my final game, I took my shoes off and took my balls to the car,” Bortolazzo said.
“I was fortunate to squeak in, and I was happy to see the lanes being oiled for match play, especially since I had to bowl Robin on the same pair. I have had problems with transition this week, so I was happy to be back on the fresh.”
Bortolazzo trailed Romeo after the second game of the three-game total-pinfall match, but she rallied to a 265 game in the finale to record the win, 677-628.
Bortolazzo recently had the opportunity to work on her game with Romeo, also a Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Famer, at a bowling camp, and she used some of that insight during their meeting at Circle Bowl.
“Robin is someone I try to emulate,” Bortolazzo said. “I met her at Camp Bakes, and she actually was my coach. In a way, I was hearing her words in my ear during the match – relax, don’t be tense, take it one shot at a time – and that’s what I did. Fortunately, I was able to really match up well after that.”
Bortolazzo held off Vidad, 530-522, and will face another past champion and hall of famer in her opening match Friday in Anne Marie Duggan of Edmond, Oklahoma.
“Tomorrow’s another day, so I’m going to try and bowl well and enjoy the moment,” Bortolazzo said. “I’ve worked hard on my game, and I’m blessed to be able to do this. I came here for the experience and to support the sport of bowling, so I’ll try to relax and just enjoy myself.”
Romeo still has a shot at a fourth consecutive Senior Queens title, and she started that journey by winning her first two matches in the elimination bracket, including a victory over USBC and PWBA Hall of Famer Tish Johnson (right) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, 609-514. Romeo and Johnson had met in the title match each of the last three years.
Romeo will face Karen Barcal of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in her first match Friday. Barcal made the stepladder finals in the 2016 event, finishing in fourth place.
Sandelin (left), a two-time Senior Queens champion, went undefeated in her two matches Thursday and will face Ann Sperling of Byram Township, New Jersey, in her opening match Friday.
Other winners bracket matches will include Panama’s Edissa Andrade taking on Kristy Whitcher of Belfair, Washington, and Cheryl Keslar of Tonganoxie, Kansas, facing Dawn Leonard of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Match play for all 16 remaining players will continue Friday at 9.m. Eastern and continue until five players remain for the stepladder finals, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
BOWL.com’s BowlTV will provide broadcast coverage throughout the remainder of competition.
Click here for more information and the complete schedule.
Lucy Sandelin leads after opening day at 2017 Senior Queens
Robin Romeo seeks to extend streak at 2017 USBC Senior Queens
2017 USBC Senior Queens moves to May 23-26
2017 USBC Senior Queens – Qualifying Results
Players with position, hometown, 15-game total and average. Top 31 players, plus defending champion Robin Romeo, advance to double-elimination match-play bracket. (a) denotes amateur.
Standings after 5 games
Standings after 10 games
Standings after 15 games
1, Lucy Sandelin (a), Tampa, FL, 3,033, 202.20
2, Robin Romeo (a), Newhall, CA, 2,982, 198.80
3, Regina Aboud (a), San Jose, CA, 2,923, 194.87
4, Kristy Whitcher, Belfair, WA, 2,871, 191.40
5, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, CO, 2,846, 189.73
6, Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, CA, 2,845, 189.67
7, Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, OK, 2,804, 186.93
8, Sharon Powers (a), Lakewood, CO, 2,799, 186.60
9, Beth Owen Cipielewski, Bradenton, FL, 2,793, 186.20
10, Carol Teel (a), The Villages, FL, 2,788, 185.87
11, Char Hammel, Las Vegas, NV, 2,774, 184.93
12, Penny Fentiman, Sweet Home, OR, 2,767, 184.47
13, Karen Barcal (a), Albuquerque, NM, 2,757, 183.80
14, Cheryl Keslar (a), Tonganoxie, KS, 2,756, 183.73
15, Paula Vidad, Sun City, CA, 2,734, 182.27
16, Melody Felton (a), Colfax, IA, 2,729, 181.93
17, Mandy Wilson (a), Dayton, OH, 2,720, 181.33
18, Christina Niles, Florence, AZ, 2,717, 181.13
19, MeiLing Billingsley, Lee’s Summit, MO, 2,715, 181.00
20, June Shimoda, Fresno, CA, 2,695, 179.67
21, Edissa Andrade (a), Panama, 2,670, 178.00
22, Yolanda Garrett (a), The Colony, TX, 2,653, 176.87
23, Nereyda Mock, Panama, 2,647, 176.47
24, Rosanne Costanzo (a), San Diego, CA, 2,646, 176.40
25, Ann Sperling, Byram Twp, NJ, 2,642, 176.13
26, Pam Lawrence (a), Pflugerville, TX, 2,634, 175.60
27, Dawn Leonard (a), Virginia Beach, VA, 2,626, 175.07
28, Lizzette Abood (a), Panama, 2,625, 175.00
29, Cyndee Sutherland, San Jose, CA, 2,624, 174.93
30, Judith Leroux (a), Meraux, LA, 2,623, 174.87
31, Inger Bortolazzo (a), Santa Barbara, CA, 2,598, 173.20
32, Susan Condeff, Fremont, CA, 2,592, 172.80
33, Judy Vogel, Slidell, LA, 2,581, 172.07
34, Lisa Wasson, Murphy, TX, 2,571, 171.40
35, Michele Carter (a), National City, CA, 2,531, 168.73
36, Velma Watson, Chicago, IL, 2,530, 168.67
37, Jennifer Nelson (a), Menlo Park, CA, 2,523, 168.20
38, Sharon Ryan, Davie, FL, 2,515, 167.67
39, Tammee Abraham-Lopret, Bloomington, MN, 2,500, 166.67
40, Karen Coffey, Rio Rancho, NM, 2,492, 166.13
41, Ann Swann, Wilmington, NC, 2,489, 165.93
42, Debbie Colby (a), Frisco, TX, 2,483, 165.53
43, Shelley Nell (a), Silverdale, WA, 2,481, 165.40
44, Lynn Minning (a), Austin, TX, 2,474, 164.93
45, Linda Andrews (a), Highlands Ranch, CO, 2,472, 164.80
46, Jackie Wyckoff, Campbell, CA, 2,469, 164.60
47, Melanie McAllister (a), Colorado Springs, CO, 2,468, 164.53
48, Guadalupe Coparropa (a), Panama, 2,462, 164.13
49, Lisa Goodson (a), Ardmore, OK, 2,455, 163.67
50, Karen Whiteside, Kilgore, TX, 2,430, 162.00
51, LoriJo Turner (a), Sheridan, WY, 2,424, 161.60
52, Carmen Aguilar (a), St. Petersburg, FL, 2,397, 159.80
53, Milka Vargas, Sun City Center, FL, 2,393, 159.53
54, Susan O’Hara (a), Sahuarita, AZ, 2,376, 158.40
55, Lynn Louze (a), Mosinee, WI, 2,373, 158.20
56, Jacqueline Delawski (a), Williston Park, NY, 2,286, 152.40
57, Nadine Darsam (a), Baton Rouge, LA, 2,250, 150.00
58, Elia Isabel Bennett (a), Panama, 2,238, 149.20
59, Bernice Downs (a), Chicago, IL, 2,184, 145.60
2017 USBC Senior Queens – Match Play
Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall. Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket