Diandra Asbaty was supposed to be in the prime of her career right now, a multi-time champion and star on the women’s pro bowling tour.
That seemed her destiny from when she was one of the most heralded young bowlers ever.
But the ending of a women’s pro tour relegated top women bowlers like Asbaty to just a couple of chances a year at top level competition.
That makes those events — especially the United States Bowling Congress Queens and the U.S Women’s Open — that much more coveted.
So winning one as Asbaty did in the USBC Queens on Tuesday night is even more of an achievement — and a dream come true.
Here is what Asbaty posted on her Facebook page after her Queens win, which was her first major title:
“It was a dream. Since I was a little girl, I used to imagine this exact situation while practicing alone at the bowling center. I threw it exactly like I practiced. But, I never imagined it would feel like this. Thank you to every single person who has rooted me on, believed in me, and picked me up when I was down. This, I didn't win alone. It's because of everyone who has helped build my character. For that, I will always be grateful.”
The win was made even sweeter — if that’s possible — by the trainwreck of a game she bowled for the Queens title in 2007, gruesome highlights of which were shown during Tuesday night’s telecast on ESPN2.
That loss was 192-143 to Kelly Kulick.
She was 101 pins better in beating USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard 244-227 on Tuesday night, striking on her first ball in the 10th to essentially clinch the win.
"I'm still in shock and literally feel like I'm in a dream," Asbaty said in this USBC news release. "It's every girl's dream to step up in the 10th against a bowler like Carolyn and throw a strike to win. She was one of my idols growing up and really inspired me. If I could take what happened in 2007 and change it, I still wouldn't do it. That moment and that heartbreak made this win possible."
Dorin-Ballard bowled a solid game of pocket shots but a 7-pin in the ninth and a ringing 10-pin in the final frame gave Asbaty the chance she needed.
"Am I disappointed? Absolutely. But I put the ball in the pocket and you can't control what happens sometimes," Dorin-Ballard said in the release. "Now it's time to work a little harder and get ready for the U.S. Women's Open in June."
The key for Asbaty was switching from a Storm Marvel Pearl after the semifinal match to a Roto Grip Critical Theory for the title match. That allowed her to move deeper and open the lane up much more than Dorin-Ballard could.
First was $20,000 and second $10,000.
More details are in the release.
Here is a great BowlTV video interview with Asbaty on her win.
2011 USBC QUEENS
International Training and Research Center, Arlington, Texas
Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., def. Josie Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 268-223 (Earnest finishes fifth, earns $3,000)
Diandra Asbaty, Chicago def. Johnson, 233-191 (Johnson finishes fourth, earns $5,000.)
Asbaty def. Stefanie Nation, Grand Prairie, Texas, 270-185 (Nation finishes third, earns $7,000.)
Asbaty def. Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Keller, Texas, 244-227 (Dorin-Ballard finishes second, earns $10,000; Asbaty finishes first, earns $20,000.)