Restrepo (pictured above with the trophy and right with Brandi Branka) defeated Brandi Branka of Fairview Heights, Illinois, 203-168, for her first PWBA title of 2017. The stepladder finals aired nationally on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday.
One of the keys to overcoming the 40-foot lane condition was to fill frames, and Restrepo did just that on her way to the title. While compiling just three strikes in the championship match, she avoided any miscues and filled every frame during the final.
Branka, who was making her TV debut, had two splits in the first three frames, which was more than enough for Restrepo to take advantage. An early double for Restrepo ultimately would prove to be the difference, along with some key observations during practice.
“I knew, no matter what, it was going to come down to making spares and keeping it clean, especially with the TV lights,” said Restrepo, who qualified for the season-ending Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia.
“This pattern is so flat, and there wasn’t a good spot to play on the lanes. It came down to how everyone else played the lanes, along with the transition and how they developed. There wasn’t a perfect place to play, but I did what I needed to do, and it means the world to take home this title because of those reasons.”
Branka earned her spot in the finals by defeating Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, 211-197, in a match where each player filled all 10 frames. Pluhowsky led by one pin through four frames, but Branka delivered a pair of doubles down the stretch to take the advantage. Branka secured the victory with a spare in the final frame.
Pluhowsky, the only left-hander on the show, defeated Colombian native Maria Jose Rodriguez of Austin, Texas, 222-205, in the opening match, which featured the most combined strikes of the three matches with 14.
All qualifying and match-play rounds of the QubicaAMF PWBA Sonoma County Open were held at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, California, on April 28-29.
The stepladder finals were held May 23 at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in conjunction with the USBC Queens and the finals of the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and PWBA Fountain Valley Open.
The Queens finals aired May 23 on CBS Sports Network, while the PWBA Storm Sacramento Open and PWBA Fountain Valley Open will air on CBS Sports Network on June 13 and June 20, respectively.
For more information on the PWBA, click here.
Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif., USA (April 27-29, 2017)
1. Rocio Restrepo, Louisville, Ohio, 203 (1 game), $10,000
2. Brandi Branka, Fairview Hgts, Ill., 379 (2 games), $5,000
3. Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 419 (2 games), $3,500
4. Maria Jose Rodriguez, Austin, Texas, 205 (1 game), $3,000
L-R Rocio Restrepo, Brandi Branka, Shannon Pluhowsky and Maria Jose Rodriguez.
First Match: No. 3 Pluhowsky def. No. 4 Rodriguez, 222-205
Second Match: No. 2 Branka def. Pluhowsky, 211-197
Championship: No. 1 Restrepo def. Branka, 203-168.