RENO, Nev. - Former Team USA member Tina Williams of Phoenix had her family by her side as she recorded three wins Sunday at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Queens to stay undefeated in the 64-player double-elimination bracket.
Williams is one of eight undefeated players left in match play at the National Bowling Stadium, and a total of 16 bowlers still remain in contention for the $20,000 top prize and coveted tiara presented to the winner.
Match play, which consists of three-game total-pinfall matches, will continue Monday at noon Eastern until the five stepladder finalists are determined. The stepladder finals will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
While Williams collected wins against Germany's Birgit Poppler (650-523), Jennifer Russo of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey (673-638), and Sweden's Jenny Wegner (713-580), she also had the support of her family on-site at the NBS, which included her husband, Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion Stuart Williams, and 20-month-old son, Brady.
Her outlook certainly has changed as her family has grown, but she also hopes to serve as an inspiration to her son.
"Since I've had Brady, it definitely has been a whole different perspective and I just remember that I truly am out here doing it for fun," Williams said. "I'm only planning to bowl two stops, so I'm trying to go out there with the right mindset and have fun because no matter what, the most important thing now is that little boy that's back there. I still bowl because I love it and want to show him that he should strive for his dreams."
The 37-year-old right-hander's main goal coming into this week was to advance to the bracket. She knew it wouldn't be an easy road to navigate, but she stuck to her process in hopes of performing at her best for her son.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself," said Williams, a three-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association All-American at West Texas A&M. "But the main thing I wanted to do this week was make the cut, so it was bonus bowling. I stuck to my routine on every single shot and just trusted the process. And for Brady, I told myself to be brave on every shot."
Williams now is two wins away from earning a spot in the stepladder finals, and she'll face Bryanna Coté‚ of Red Rock, Arizona, to start competition Monday.
Regardless of the outcome, she knows she'll have her biggest fans supporting her until the final ball is rolled.
"It's really special," Williams said. "I definitely had my whole village here. My mom is with me, and Stu's parents are with us. Brady's running around and having a really good time, and it's just great that I don't have to worry about him because I know he's right there. I'm getting to show him that you should strive to do something that you're passionate about and makes you happy."
Other matches in the winners bracket include two-time Queens champion Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, taking on Amanda Fry of Antelope, California, Shannon O'Keefe of O'Fallon, Illinois, matching up against Sweden's Anna Andersson and Colombia's Clara Guerrero, who rolled the first 300 game of the 2018 event on Sunday, against Stefanie Johnson of McKinney, Texas.
Two former Queens champions still remain in contention in the elimination bracket - two-time champion Liz Johnson of Palatine, Illinois, and 2006 winner Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio.
Defending champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia made a valiant run in the elimination bracket after losing in the opening round, winning her next three matches, but was eliminated during the final round of the day by Josie Barnes of Nashville, Tennessee, 697-646. Zavjalova finished tied for 17th place.
All players in this year's field bowled 15 games of qualifying over three days to determine the 63 competitors joining Zavjalova in match play.
This week's event is the first major on the 2018 Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour schedule.
All rounds of competition leading up to the stepladder finals will be broadcast on Xtra Frame, the exclusive online bowling channel for the Professional Bowlers Association. To subscribe to watch the action on Xtra Frame, visit XtraFrame.TV.