Splitzter - October 17, 2003

Thereís nothing like watching someone throw the tenth frame of a potential 300 game. The bowler has, over the past 45 minutes, managed to string the first nine strikes to arrive at this critical juncture. And you know, it doesnít matter whether it was pretty or ugly. Nine strikes are nine strikes. Now the fun begins. Invariably, word passes from table to table that someoneís three strikes away from perfection and eyes start to turn to watch.
So, there you are, on the approach with half the league watching your every move. Pressure? You bet. Fun? It sure is. Itís a feeling that is unique to bowling that comparatively few have the fortune to experience. Monday night in the N R & G Recycling league Matt Buehrer was in just such a pressure cooker.

There have been roughly 25 scores thus far this season with 11 out of 12 strikes. Matt had the first nine in game three and no one had cracked the 300 as of yet. Last season Matt stroked three 300 games and he wanted to be the first this year to hit the Honors Board.

He cut loose on the first shot of the tenth frame and it looked pretty good. At the last second the ball rolled a bit high but Matt rolled it well. A great headpin reaction took out the four and seven pins. A muffled cheer went up from his bowling buddies and Matt was two shots away.

The eleventh ball was pure perfection, stroked well and right over the mark. It hit the pocket flush and buried all ten pins deep into the pit. The cheer was a bit louder this time with one shot left to go. Now the nerves set in. The center seemed quiet as a morgue as everyone waits and hopes. When Matt let the last shot go, he held on to the ball a bit too long and tugged it a board or two inside at the arrows. The only way itís happening tonight is if the tug line worked. Sure enough, the shot held. The ball entered straight and true and shattered the rack flush hole. Matt jumped ten feet, his fellow keglers roaring in congratulations. It was awesome. After starting games of 189-200, who would have thought his night would end like this. A huge congrats, buddy. Number one for the 2003-2004 season is in the books and your name is beside it.

Mensí high series for the week goes to JJ Westhoven in the Hernandez Insurance Classic with his 753 set with games of 268-216-269. Fred Thompson was second with a 225-268-235:728 series in the Thursday Woods Auto league. High game for the week obviously is Mattís. Bruce Engler was not far behind with his 290 score, also with the Hernandez guys. It was a big week for 700ís with nine others accomplishing the feat: Bruce Engler-721; Jeff Lesinski-720; Scott Helberg-719; Mike Cramer-718; Andy Phillips-717; Randy Schwaiger-705; Bruce Engler-705; Tom Hoeffel-702; Chuck Carr-702.

Janet Franz led the gals in the ladiesí high game category with a nice 257 game Thursday in the Napoleon Party Mart league. Karen Zumfelde shot second high game, also Thursday night, with a 234 score. Karen also led the pack this week in high ladiesí series with a nice 214-234-184:632 evening. Taking second place honors was Leslie Shiver in Saturdayís Primerica Mixed league with scores of 189-170-213:572.