Cooley caps 800 series with 300 game

January 12, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

Halfway through her first game, Terri Cooley was just trying to turn a bad night at the bowling alley into a better one. But she had no idea how good it would get.

A remarkable turnaround allowed Cooley to make a bit of local bowling history recently by becoming the first woman to bowl an 800 series at Danville's Bowlarama Lanes. And she capped the series with a 300 game, her second perfect game in three months.

"It just amazes me," Cooley said of her feat. "I was in the zone, and it's a nice place to be."

Cooley, who manages the Danville lanes, rolled a three-game total of 803 (225-278-300) in the Kentucky Colonel league. It was the first 800 series anyone has rolled since the Bowlarama lanes were replaced last year.


"An 800 is very special," she said. "I just never dreamed that I would do it."

Cooley had approached 800 before, reaching 797 with her best previous effort.

"You can always look back on three games and say, 'If I'd done this or that,'" she said.

But she doesn't have to do that any more after reaching one of bowling's most desired milestones on a night when it initially looked like she might not accomplish much of anything.

"The first five frames I was struggling, but I made a few adjustments and struck out the rest of the game," she said.

Cooley said things just kept getting better from that point on as the strikes stacked up. By the third game there were only strikes, and that's when she started to think about the possibilities.

"At some point in the third game, around the fifth or sixth frame, I looked up at the scoreboard - I never do that - and I saw that I had 503 in the first two games," she said. "I'm thinking, 'You know, this is possible.'

"After the 11th strike, when I was waiting for the ball to come back, I was thinking, 'Just let me get seven so I can shoot my 800,' and I got another strike."

That final strike gave Cooley her sixth 300 game. She had rolled her last one in October at the state tournament, and this is another one she's sure to remember.

The Women's International Bowling Congress awards rings to its members who roll perfect games, but only allows for one 300 ring a year. However, it offers awards for an 800 series, so Cooley will get to add a second ring to her collection.

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