MOORESVILLE, North Carolina – Kaitlyn Stull of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Annalise OBryant of Ball Ground, Georgia, are teammates on Junior Team USA; nevertheless, the two were forced to square off as adversaries during the title match at the 2024 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Mooresville Regional, which was contested at Victory Lanes in Mooresville on Sunday.
The championship match was close throughout, but it was Stull who emerged victorious, using a strike on her first ball in the 10th frame to officially close the door and take down OBryant by a final score of 200-183.
Even though Stull doesn’t usually make a habit of watching the scoreboard, the 16-year-old right-hander knew exactly what she needed when she stepped onto the approach during the final frame.
“I’m not really a scoreboard watcher, but sometimes I like to look just so that I’ll know what I have to do,” Stull said. “I knew that I needed a mark, but I didn’t let it get to my head. I knew that if I made a good shot, even if I caught a bad break, I couldn’t do anything about it.”
And throw a good shot she did, delivering a flush strike to secure her first PWBA Regional win and the $1,600 first-place prize.
Additionally, the victory earned Stull a berth in the season-ending PWBA Regional Showdown, which will be contested at Aloma Bowl in Winter Park, Florida, on Dec. 5-7.
While competing in Florida in December is something that Stull will be looking forward to, on Sunday, she was focused on how happy she was to have captured a PWBA victory in her home state.
“It means a lot to have won here in North Carolina,” Stull said. “I didn’t see myself in this position considering where I was a month ago when I had to pull out of Team USA Trials due to an infected finger. Just seeing how far I’ve come since then is pretty amazing.”
Stull is likely to author many more amazing performances down the road both in the collegiate ranks after deciding which program to bowl for and during future PWBA tournaments.
OBryant’s future appears equally bright as Sunday’s effort earned the 19-year-old right-hander $800 and gave her back-to-back runner-up finishes during PWBA Regional competition – she placed second at the 2024 PWBA Myrtle Beach Regional on Jan. 21.
Stull advanced to the title tilt with OBryant by taking down No. 4 seed Rachael Stout of Fremont, Ohio, 224-156, during Sunday’s semifinal match.
Stout kicked off the stepladder finals by striking on eight of her final nine deliveries en route to a 255-180 victory over No. 3 qualifier Daphne Smith of Simpsonville, South Carolina.
Stout couldn’t keep the magic going during Match 2 against Stull, however, as she struck just once and opened three times during the first four frames.
Nevertheless, Stout’s third-place finish earned her $650 while Smith walked away with $550 for placing fifth in the 54-player field.
The next PWBA Regional event will be contested March 9 at the PWBA Eastern Pennsylvania Regional. The tournament will be held at Steel City Bowl & Brews in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
CLICK HEREto learn more about PWBA Regional competition and to view the 2024 schedule.