Game 1: 189
Game 2: 159
Game 3: 205
Week Avg: 184
Season Avg: 191
During practice I kept missing my mark to the left and the ball was hugging the gutter for almost the entire length of the lane. There was no room for error on the outside: if you missed your mark right the ball wasn't coming back.
The first game started with a spare and strike, followed up by eight spares in a row. I was consistently in the pocket, but I had difficulty kicking out the 10-pin so I spent most of the game trying to make minute adjustments to get it to carry. Finally on my last ball I struck by slowing my ball speed. I finished with a clean 189.
The next game stayed clean until the fifth frame when I left the 2-5-8 and couldn't pick up the 8-pin. I spared again before leaving an 8-10 split on a pretty good hit. Typically this is a result of a flat pocket hit, but the ball hooked in so I am still scratching my head over this one. I didn't feel so bad when our opponent's anchor left the exact same split on a similar hit that same frame. I also missed a 6-7 split late in the game. Luckily I was able to through a few more strikes than I did the first game, but I couldn't make up for the three opens and finished with a 159.
The third game started with a strike and then I whiffed on the 6-10 after a high hit. I changed my ball speed back to normal and fired off the next five in a row. In the eighth frame I hit light and left another 8-10 split. I filled the tenth frame and finished the evening with a 205 game and 553 series. We took 5 of 7 points on the night and are slowly climbing our way up the standings with one more week before the final quarter's position night.
Once again I felt like I bowled better than my series reflects. I was much more consistent in hitting my mark and finding the pocket, I just couldn't get the pins to carry. (So much so that every time someone left a 10-pin on a nice hit they would say they got Zach-ed.) The first game was filled with nine counts and could have easily been in the mid-200s. I wasn't really fishing around for adjustments during the second game, I just had two pocket splits and double wood from a light hit. The third game was great overall, but I missed an easy spare in the right corner, a spot I had thrown at at least ten times earlier in the night, and I left another split. There was a lot of oil on the lane and the ball was just rolled out by the time it hit the pins until I finally dug in a good line in the third game. Looking back I feel like I should be more frustrated over my scores, but I can't help but walk away from the evening with a few positives.
I am, however, officially in a slump with the last four weeks being under average. For whatever reason, luck just seems to evaporate from your game when you are in a slump, so I will have to depend on my skill to get me out of it. Yikes.
I have four weeks left to gain at least one pin and get back to where I finished last season. My average +1 for next week is a 605.
The Road Ahead
Its going to be a busy couple weeks for me on the lanes. US Steel's Andrew Carnegie Athletic Association is having a bowling tournament on the 31st and my wife put together a team for that. She has bowled once in the last eleven months so we are going to go practice this weekend before the tournament next Saturday. The tournament is in a different bowling center than my league, so I am hoping the change in scenery will do me some good. Also, league playoffs start on April 12th and carry into the 19th. I will have two weeks off before starting my summer league, but I'll talk more about that a little bit later . . .