By Jim Goodwin on Aug 20, 2019 12:29:31 PM
At the beginning of the 2001 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour season, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard had no idea that the coming season would become a significant part of bowling history.
At that point in her bowling career, she had been on tour for more than a decade, she had 10 pro titles on her resume, and she had thoughts during the five-month offseason that maybe she should call it a career. She knew she had a great game because she had just finished as the runner-up to player of the year four years in a row. She also knew that she didn't like being runner-up anything, but maybe the top spot was just not meant to be . . . she thought.
Her thinking changed dramatically in one week. It was unusual for the tour to start the year with a major championship, but it gave players like Dorin-Ballard extra incentive to do well. When she made her decision to continue on tour, she practiced even harder; and she was already known for believing in the power of practice. She was ready for the Queens to start the year in Sunrise, Florida.
She also prepared mentally. Talks with her sister Cathy, close friends on tour, and especially her husband Del convinced her that it was not the time to walk away.
"It all just came together that week," Dorin-Ballard recalled. "And the rest of the season was beyond my wildest dreams. It seemed like all of the bad breaks I had in the previous four years turned into good breaks that year. It really gave me the confidence and momentum I needed to have a good year. I still look back and think 'was that really me that did that?'"
When the 2001 season was done, Dorin-Ballard had seven titles for the year, tying Patty Costello's all-time record for titles in a season. It gave her a lock on hall of fame and legend status.
This video also gives us a glimpse at a couple of international players, Robin Crawford of Canada and Maxine Nable from Australia in the first match with Kim Terrell.
The semifinal game features first-year pro Kelly Kulick, who looks unbeatable when she defeats Terrell 256-185 . . . but the championship match is a different story.
After a couple of flubs in the late frames and a very exciting split conversation, Dorin-Ballard steps up on the approach needing a strike for the title . . . anything less and a second game would be needed in the double-elimination format.
Needless to say, she delivered like great champions often do, and it propelled her into the best season ever. She thought about stopping after 10 titles . . . she now owns 20.
Today, she still competes whenever she can. She represents Turbo and Storm in her bowling travels, and enjoys a very good home life in Texas with Del and their beautiful daughter Alyssa.