Game 1: 222
Game 2: 183
Game 3: 183
Week Avg: 196
Season Avg: 192
I went into this week with a plan: start off with a slower ball speed and adjust my target and body position at the same time so I could give myself more options. The lane conditions were a little better this week, but I would still consider it heavy oil. I only had the chance to throw four balls in practice and did not have a comfortable line going into the first game.
I started off striking with the first two in a row. Light pocket hits were carrying, but what looked to be solid hits were leaving single pins. Almost everyone on our set was leaving splits, but I managed to avoid them. I picked up my spares, strung some strikes and felt pretty good. I even struck both times I hit the Brooklyn side. I spared and struck in the tenth frame and had a 222 game. I advanced through the first round of brackets by one pin.
The second game started with a light hit and a 2-4-5-8 leave, of which I only picked up two pins. I spared in the second, chopped the 4-7 in the third and missed a 5-pin in the fourth frame. The oil was further down the lane and the ball wasn't coming in like before so I moved a half board to the right and moved my mark on the lane a board right hoping to find a dry spot near the gutter. I struck in the fifth and kept it clean the rest of the way. The ball started to hang out a little more so I moved my target back one board left and found the sweet spot. I struck the last five in a row with my five best balls of the night. I salvaged a 183 game, but more importantly won the game for our team by a single pin. I also advanced to the finals in the brackets for the second week in a row.
Every ball in the tenth frame came in just a hair higher and I meant to move my body up on the approach before the start of the third game because I was already flirting with a split. By the time my turn rolled around I forgot to adjust and started off with a 3-10 split, chopping the 3-pin. I made my adjustment starting in the second frame and picked up my spares, mainly single pins, and struck a few times before leaving and missing the same split in the ninth frame. I spared and struck in the tenth, but the open in the ninth had done its damage and I finished with another 183 game and 588 series. I did win the brackets this week and my team made up a lot of ground coming into the end of the quarter next week. We are tied for second place, one point behind the first place team who, coincidentally, we bowled last night. Because we won more games than the other second place team, we will be bowling them again next week for a shot at our second consecutive quarter victory and another $100 per person.
There was something comforting about coming into the night with a plan. It seemed to make everything run smoother and I was definitely more confident on the lanes. I felt like I was bowling a bit better than what my series suggests, but the first few frames in the second game and the open ninth frame in the third game sealed my fate.
As if to reinforce my comments about the importance of the tenth frame last week I managed to fill the last frame of each game picking up 70 of a possible 90 pins. But as I saw in the third game, the foundation frame in the ninth is almost just as important as filling the tenth.
I enjoy bowling under pressure and last night wasn't lacking in that aspect, winning a round of brackets and a team game by a single pin. Next week brings the additional pressure of being one point out of first place and bowling head to head with the leader, so needless to say I am looking forward to it.