More than 100 of the top female duckpin bowlers in the nation gathered at Fair Lanes Southwest for the 12th annual Ladies All-Star Classic.
The event was sponsored by Budweiser and Bud Light and sanctioned by the National Duckpin Bowling Congress last weekend.
In the Saturday qualifying rounds, Betty Caputo of Pasadena averaged 154 for the seven games. Jane Hudgins of Glen Burnie fired a 213 game, and Wendy Young of Pasadena, at 16 the youngest bowler in the event, averaged 125.
Caputo not only put up impressive figures in the qualifying round, but she also dominated the tournament.
On Sunday the top 24 qualifiers from Saturday competed in the semifinals. When the smoke cleared, Caputo was seeded first for the five-bowler stepladder finals.
Hudgins shot a 213 game, the first all-mark game in a career that spans more than 20 years. The administrative officerfor the Department of Defense bowls in the Wednesday Night Doubles at Riviera Bowl and carries a 121 average. She has a high set of 453 to go with that 213 single game.
Young averages 112 in the SaturdayNight Mixed at Riviera Bowl and has shot a 180 game and a 455 set.
"What a great sport! What a great day!" said Young. "I met some of the greatest women bowlers on the East Coast and got to learn from them. Thanks to the Ladies All-Star Classic, I had an afternoon to remember."
The Chesapeake High School student who has been bowling since she was 9 was a bit excited about bowling in her first major tournament.
Was Caputo excited?
"I wasn't even going to bowl in the tournament," Caputo said. "I've only been averaging 133 lately. That's down from my past average of 141, and I was going to skip the tournament but (tournament director) Pat Rinaldi talked me into trying it."
Caputo won the All-Star Classic in 1985, so she was well aware of the caliber of the women bowlers that she had to face. The key account manager for Recycled Paper Products Co. never eased up in her pursuit of her second victory.
Top-seeded after the Sunday morning semifinals, she had to sit and wait while Mariann Morel of Baltimore defeated Donna Biondo of Hampstead, 144-109. In the second game of the stepladder finals, Morel threw a 121 game to top Pat Loomis' 90 game.While both women struggled in the second game, Morel managed to throw four marks to win.
In the third game, Cora Byrd of Cheverly fired a 162 game to top the 125 that Morel threw. Byrd opened with a double-header and never looked back.
In the final game of the stepladder, Byrd lost her edge. She was open in the first four frames, showing only 29 total pins. Mean while, Caputo had spares in the first and second frames, opened in the next three, spared in the next four frames and finished with a 140 game. That defeated Byrd's 116 and earned the $2,000 first prize.
The National Amateur Bowlers Inc.'s next event will be at Fair Lanes Annapolis this weekend, April 4 and 5.
The Greater Baltimore Bowling Association will conduct its eighth annual James L Morel Seniors Tournament at Bowl America Glen Burnie on Sunday. It's for ages 55 and up.
The next Amateur Duckpin Tour event will be on Saturday and Sunday at Fontana Bowl.
Greenway Bowl Odenton will play host to the PBA RegionalQualifier this weekend. The top qualifiers receive an entry for the PBA Regional Tournament at Country Club Lanes at a later date.
Information: Bill Mend or Peggy Tully, 551-7100.
Don Vitek's Best of Bowling radio talk show is on WCBM/AM 680 at 5 p.m. every Sunday.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.