Daigle wins scholarship tournament

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2010

Peninsula Strikers bowler Shalynda Daigle began the tournament with "Back-to-back-Jacks" on her way to an opening game of 192. Nine games and seven frames later, Shalynda closed out the day just as strong with a strike, 9-spare and strike on her way to an Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament title.

The phrase "Back-to-back-Jacks" is a popular catchphrase started by ESPN Professional Bowlers Association announcer Rob Stone, which means two strikes in a row.

Shalynda's dominating performance took place in the early morning hours of Super Bowl Sunday at Eagle River Bowl in front of a packed house of 43 youth bowlers and many spectators.

Shalynda entered the event with a 142 average, and during the qualifying round, rolled games of 192, 180, 156 and 150 for a 678 series and a 169 average. After four games, Shalynda not only led her division of 25 bowlers, but also far outpaced the tournament field.

In the second round, Shalynda continued her consistent, above-average performance, with games of 177, 185, 190 and 158 for a 710 series. Shalynda's 177 average was more than enough to qualify as the No. 2 seed in the stepladder finals.

The No. 1 seed went to Veronica Wishtoff, who rolled a 241 in her final game to capture the top spot.

In the stepladder semifinals, Shalynda's first match was a nail-biter to the end. Her opponent started off with two strikes in a row to take an early 10-pin lead after two frames.

Shalynda countered by converting all of her spares through six frames and turned a 10-pin deficit into a 10-pin lead going into the seventh frame.

For the remainder of the match, Shalynda kept pace with her opponent and in the end scored a four-pin victory and the right to move forward to the title match.

During the championship match Shalynda continued doing what she did well the entire day, and that was fill frames with marks. For nine of 10 frames, Shalynda marked by rolling a couple of strikes and by covering the remaining high-percentage spares. In the end, Shalynda rolled her way to a mountainous 41-pin victory with a 181 game.

Throughout the eight games of qualifying and two stepladder matches, Shalynda remained consistent with keeping the ball in play, so to speak. When not rolling strikes, Shalynda scored mostly eight counts and nine counts on her first roll. These high counts left Shalynda with relatively easier, high-percentage spares to convert, which she did throughout a majority of the day, in textbook fashion.

In contrast to high-percentage spares, you have the 4-6-7-10 huge split, the nearly impossible 7-10 split and a handful of other less desirable leaves like washouts and baby splits. These splits and especially the 4-6-7-10 split will routinely stand taller than an Arctic ocean iceberg, in front of, and in opposition to, a bowler achieving a high score.

Shalynda for most of the day remained as far away as a bowler could from the splits mentioned above, even though we are talking about inches, and fractions of miles per hour that could mean the difference between a strike and a split that is nearly possible to very difficult to cover.

Along with her title, Shalynda won a $100 in scholarship money, and secured a spot in the lucrative Tournament of Champions with November's Eagle River Bowl champion Mikayla Miller, and last month's Polar Bowl champion Tyler Yamada.

Awesome bowling, Shalynda!

Also doing very well in the tournament, but missing the stepladder finals by the slimmest of margins, is younger brother Nicholas Daigle. Nicholas, who entered the event with a 154 average, qualified fourth in the opening round with games of 139, 160, 186 and 189.

During the next round, Nicholas rolled scores of 192, 195, 147 and 139 en route to his sixth-place finish.

For information about the Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament, contact Susan Axtell at 694-5409 or Ruben Saldana at 929-2942. The next tournament is March 7 at Lucky Strike Lanes in Anchorage.

Next on the agenda at Alaskalanes, and approaching rapidly, is the men's Soldotna/Kenai 2010 Annual Championship Tournament on Feb. 20, 21, 27 and 28.

Bowler's Corner is submitted by Randy Stiedl. For any questions, comments or suggestions e-mail akrms1@yahoo.com.

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