Guaranteed Prize Money to the top 6 in each division*
QUEENS* (Open Scratch)
PRINCESS* (199 Average and Under)
SR. QUEENS (Aged 50+, Scratch)
5 GAMES QUALIFYING
The top 6 bowlers in each division will advance to a single game double elimination bracket. The three champions will bowl a one game match to determine the overall champion of the tournament. Handicap will apply for the Princess champion.
VIRGINIA YOUNG CAPTURES SOCAL QUEENS TITLE
LAKEWOOD – “Girls with dreams become Women with Vision”…This was the theme of the inaugural So Cal
Queens event held on September 30, 2017 at Cal Bowl in Lakewood. Since the return of the PWBA in 2015, women
bowlers throughout the state have been looking to compete. There has not been a state level Queens event in
California since the CUSBC ended the event in 2010. Being an avid competitive bowler myself, I saw the need for
women bowlers to have their own to test their skills and feed the competitive spirit they all have.
The tournament used a 1 day format where bowlers qualified in 3 separate divisions Queens (Scratch), Senior
Queens (50+ Scratch) and Princess (Handicap). All bowlers bowled 5 games of qualifying on the 40 ft Chichen Itza pattern. A total of 99 bowlers took to the lanes to compete for the title. At the conclusion of qualifying, the top
6 bowlers in each division advanced to the single game double elimination bracket. The top 6 qualifiers in each
Queens – Brianna LeForbes +89, Virginia Young +17, Stacie Watcson +4, Valerie Riggins -2, Jasmine Coleman
-2 and Stephanie Cooksey -51
Sr Qeens – Laura Hardeman +1, Janielle Sakata -44, Pam Pancoast -58, Theresa Prutch -60, Paula Vidad -71 and Polly Hale -75
Princess – Jessica Garcia +57, Jocelyn Bustanate +35, Yvonne Parker +34, Kagan Kost +33, Kumiko Kopp +19
and Odette Dalton -38
The top 2 seeds in each division received a bye for the first round matches. In the Queens division, the finals featured Virginia Young and Valerie Riggin. Young was the undefeated player in the bracket, while Riggin entered the loser’s bracket in the 2nd round and fought her way back including a 9-10 frame roll off with Jasmine Coleman after tying at 222 each. Riggin’s work was not over as she would have to win twice to become the division champion. Both bowlers started strong but it was Riggin taking game one 246 to 220 forcing a 2nd game. In the game 2, both bowlers had highs and lows. Young posted her score first, and Riggin needed 9/ X to capture the division title. She threw the shot that has helped her win all day, but this time left a crushing 4-9 split, awarding Young the division title 191 to 178.
In the Princess division Jessica Garcia sailed through the winners bracket while Yvonne Parker, who also entered
the losers bracket in the 2nd round was the one to survive to take on Garcia. Parker needing to make up a
17 pin difference in handicap took game one 207 to 190. Parker and Garcia were neck and neck through 7 frames in
game 2, and Parker was starting to pull away until a disastrous 3-6-7-9-10 in the 8th thwarted Parker’s chances of
catching Garcia. Garcia marked in the 9th and 10th frame to secure her victory in the Princess division 226-203.
The Senior Queens division featured 2 veterans in CUSBC Hall of Famer Laura Hardeman and SLACUSBC
Hall of Famer Pam Pancoast. Both bowlers were fairly dominant throughout the bracket but it was Hardeman that
remained undefeated going into the championship finals, defeating Pancoast to secure her spot in the finals. Pancoast
then bowled another CUSBC Hall of Famer Paula Vidad for the chance to take on Hardeman. Pancoast
handily defeated Vidad 265 – 205 and would face Hardeman again in the title match. Pancoast would need to
defeat Hardeman twice for the division title. Unlike the other 2 division matches, only one game was needed to
determine a winner as Hardeman ended Pancoast’s run in one game, winning 217 to 176.
All three division champions then bowled a single game to determine the overall champion of the event. Garcia
would receive her 32 pins of handicap for this match as well. The match started slow as I believe all three champions
were basking in the glory of their division titles as no bowler appeared to pull away, in fact going into the 10th
frame, all three women had a chance to win. Garcia finishing first went XX9 to finish with 191 (159+32). Hardeman
was next up with 141 in the 8th on a spare and in true hall of famer fashion, she threw 3 strikes in the 10th to tie
Garcia at 191. Young was the last to finish with 162 in the 8th on a spare. Needing 9/ 1 to win, many spectators were
unsure of the outcome given the way matches had gone throughout the day, but Young silenced all doubt throwing
a commanding strike on the first ball in the 10 and a spare to end with 202, making her the overall champion of the
event and allowed her to take home the title and the beautiful plaque! (Thanks again to our legends for allowing me
to use their photos).
I spoke to Virginia after her win, and this is what she had to say: “Going into this tournament, I just wanted to keep my
head in the game and focus on my shots. I knew spare making would be key to staying in the cut. I had been
struggling with consistency and didn’t come into the tournament with much confidence. Once I got settled in, I
started getting that confidence back. I didn’t put up any big games in qualifying but I was consistent and stayed in the
moment and I was rolling the ball better than I had been in a while. My goal coming in was to make cut and go from
there. Winning the event was something I knew I was capable of, but I didn’t come in expecting to win. I have to
thank my coach, Mark Baker, for constantly pushing me to be better and not settle for just ok. There have been many
sacrifices I’ve had to make pursuing my passion but wins like this make all the evenings and mornings spent on the
lanes worth it. I may have been the one throwing the ball, but without my amazing support system I wouldn’t be able
to do what I love.”
I cannot thank my helpers (Deanna LeForbes, Tom Leigh, Bret Haynes, Patrick Tollefson, Jason Eubanks and
Alex Tucker) enough for keeping things moving along. It would easily be an impossible feat, but bowlers always
pitch in where they can, as we all love this sport so much! We were able to pay almost $6K total which is a pretty
good return on a $65 entry fee. We also received an anonymous donation of $100 per division to pay $50 to
high out of cash and $50 to last place, raised $695 in our raffle, and all income from brackets was invested back into the tournament. So thanks again to #900Global, #Storm, #Mongoose, #LogoInfusion, #IGBO, Judy Thompson, Paula Vidad and our anonymous donor for their donations.
Lastly thanks to Leonard Ruiz and Staff at Cal Bowl for hosting us. They are seasoned veterans in hosting tournaments
and always make things run smoothly…we can’t run events without centers like Cal that are willing to host us!
Running tournaments can be a thankless job at times, so I can say with 100% sincerity that I am humbled by
the amount of appreciation showed these group of women (and spectators). On behalf of myself and the Southern LA
County USBC, we thank everyone for their participation and look forward to seeing everyone again next year!