Rejuvenated Bellinder takes lead at USBC Queens


    United States

    Super Bowl Lanes in Canton, Mich. and Skore Lanes in Taylor, Mich. (April 26-30, 2008)

    2008USBCQMissyBellinder.jpg Team USA's Missy Bellinder of Fullterton, Calif., decided the best way to prepare for the 2008 United States Bowling Congress Queens was with a little relaxation and rejuvenation.

    So Bellinder put away her bowling balls in favor of suntan lotion and headed to the Mexican Riviera on a cruise for a quick vacation. Now, she's sitting atop the leader board at the Queens after the second Round of qualifying Sunday at Super Bowl Lanes.

    Bellinder fired 1,094 for five games during Round 2 and leads with a 10-game total of 2,206 to lead the field of 337 of the best women bowlers in the world competing for an overall prize fund of $200,000.

    "The week before this tournament, I wasn't even in or around a bowling center, I was on a cruise," Bellinder said. "I took a nice, relaxing vacation and spent time with my family. So when I got home, I practiced for three straight days and then came here. I thought it was a nice break to get myself ready for competition."

    A day after opening with a block of 1,112, Bellinder had games of 227, 204, 235, 234 and 194 to lead a group of 100 bowlers who advanced to Monday's final five-game qualifying block.

    "I'm very excited about how I bowled, and I basically just did the same things I did yesterday," Bellinder said. "I took it one shot at a time, made great shots and picked up my spares. Basically, I'm not even looking at the scores at this point. I'm really focused on my game and getting it ready so everything is solid going into match play."

    2007TTTennelleMilligan.jpg Fellow Team USA member Tennelle Milligan of Costa Mesa, Calif., made a big jump into second place after shooting 1,176 Sunday for a 10-game total of 2,170.

    Milligan, left, the 2005 Queens champion, got off to a slow start in the opening Round of the tournament on Saturday, totaling just 994 for five games, but rebounded in a big way Sunday. She had games of 268, 225, 224, 237 and 222 for the highest five-game block of the event thus far.

    Laura Hardeman.jpg Laura Hardeman (right) of Chula Vista, Calif., sits in third with 2,167 and is followed by Team USA's Brenda Viator of Lake Wales, Fla., who closed with a 279 game for a 10-game total of 2,163.

    Team USA's Shannon Pluhowsky of Phoenix, who shared the first-round lead, dropped to fifth with 2,155 while Jennifer Murphy of Clarksville, Tenn., also the first-round leader, fell into a tie for 37th with 2,022.

    2007PITTinaStickney_small.jpg In the battle for the final spot in the top 100, Team USA's Tina Stickney (left) of Goodyear, Ariz., and Tracy Anderson of Palatine, Ill., squeaked in with a 10-game total of 1,917.

    After the remaining 100 bowlers complete the final five-game qualifying block Monday morning, the field will be cut to the top 63 who will join defending champion Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., in match play starting Monday afternoon.

    The final five players after match play concludes Tuesday will advance to the stepladder finals, which will be televised live from Skore Lanes in Taylor, Mich., by ESPN2 on April 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

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