AMF Mesa - 5/5/2024


Our event this weekend was at AMF Mesa, and with all the other events going on throughout the Valley we would have another good turnout in back-to-back weekends. We had 85 total entries (65 qualifying & 20 economy parlays) for 2 squads, with 23 prize winners and a 1 in 3.54 cash ratio, paying out over $5,400 in main and side event prize funds. The players bowled on the 43ft Kegel Deadman’s Curve oil pattern that played pretty tough for the qualifying squads. The pattern has an out of bounds if you get it too far towards the gutter early, but it looked like there was enough of a built-in track that the bowlers were able to overcome it. We would see some higher scores as bowlers could see the difference as they moved from pair to pair. Once the oil pattern started to break down in the later squads, then scores would start to pick up. It would take about +50 to qualify for the quarterfinals with bowlers needing to bowl 10-15 pins over their average per game to advance.

We want to welcome Madelyn Dragon, Carlos Jimenez, Matt Starcevich, Jesse Winterstein, Roger Butler, and Dustin Wengeler to the SFT AHT family! We hope you all had a good time in your first SFT AHT event. Congrats to Jesse Winterstein, Matt Starcevich and Dustin Wengeler for making the quarterfinals in their very first event! Also, congrats to David Corcino, Justin O’Donnell, Jay White, and Mitchell Hays for making their first quarterfinals or their first in quite a while! Also, congrats to Sergio Hilburn and Sean Ashley for being our Economy Parlay Power players this weekend. They both were able to turn their $30.00 Economy Parlay investment into a Quarterfinals check. Your winner of the drawing for the free plastic ball, with the option to upgrade to any high-performance Track ball for $95.00, was Kenny Koen!

Since this event was only 2 squads there would be no re-oil before the quarterfinals. This resulted in higher scores as the volume used on the oil pattern held up enough give bowlers a variety of options of attacking the pair. We would see some tight scores and it would all come down to the third and final game of the quarterfinals to determine who would move on to the Semi-Final round. We would have 20 quarterfinalists and with our 1 in 3 cut ratio, from the quarterfinals to the semi-final round, we would cut to the Top 2 in all three Divisions.

The A Division #1 seed would be Brian Waugh (+127) and he would have to take on former SFT Female Player of the Year Shawna Strause (+122). The B Division would see Mitchell Hays (+109) as the #1 seed, and he would face off with a former SFT Player of the Year Sean “The Man” Ashley (+108). The C Division would have newcomer Dustin Wengeler (+118) as the top seed, and he would be matched up against another newcomer in Jesse Winterstein (+105).

The A Division semi-final match would start off with Shawna Strause throwing a four-bagger to get out to an early lead. Brian would try to keep up and stay clean for most of the match. Shawna would open in the fifth and sixth frames to give Brian a chance as Brian would get a couple of timely strikes. It would be too little too late as Shawna would make up those open frames as she would throw a five-bagger to close out the match to win, 260 to 229.

The B Division semi-finals would also be a close one as Mitchell Hays and Sean Ashley would struggle on the pair to start. The match would go back and forth and it would all come down to the tenth frame as Sean would have an open from a split going into the tenth. This would give Mitchell a chance to put some pressure on Sean to strike out to have a chance. Mitchell would get up and strike in the tenth frame. His fill ball would leave the 10-pin which he would pick up for a score of 218. Sean would get up needing all three in the tenth to win the match by 1-pin. Sean’s first ball would come off a bit late and would see his ball go through the nose to leave the 6-10. Sean would make the spare and get nine on the fill to finish with a score of 209 to finish second in the Division.

The C Division semi-finals would also not be as close as Dustin Wengeler would start off the match on fire with a three-bagger. Jesse Winterstein would try and keep up but an open frame in the sixth and ninth frames would see him finish up the match with a score of 220. Dustin would have some trouble midway through the match but would get lined up again to get a couple of much needed strikes to win the match with a score of 245.

The Finals would see Dustin Wengeler making his first AHT SFT Finals, in his very first event, and he would be looking to win take home his first title. Standing in his way was Mitchell Hays who would also be making his first Finals appearance and looking to add a title to his resume. The favorite of the match had to Shawna Strause. Shawna was looking to win her second title and also was just making her comeback after having knee surgery. It looked like she was fully healed and the time off didn’t affect her as much as she had been bowling well all day! Also, Dustin was not in the progressive pot so he was looking to take home about half of the projected $950.00 first place prize money ($475.00). So, the way that the Progressive Pot works is that all the prize money that the bowlers win, who are not in the Progressive Pot, is then redistributed to all the other bowlers that were in the progressive pot who advanced to the quarterfinals. So, you can imagine that everyone was rooting for Dustin to win so they could get a bit more of Progressive Pot prize money in their checks.

The Finals would start off with Dustin hitting the pocket light for a 4-pin, which he would spare. Mitchell would be up next and would see his ball crush the pocket for a strike. Shawna would see her ball come up light as she would leave the 2-4-5, which she would spare. Dustin would strike to kick off the second frame as Mitchell would see his ball go “Brooklyn” for another strike. Shawna would strike as she looked to keep up with boys. Dustin would continue to strike in the third frame while Mitchell would see his ball hit the pocket but leave a light 4-pin. Mitchell would pick up the spare to stay clean as Shawna would strike to keep pace. Fourth frame would see Dustin continue to strike. Mitchell was able to strike as well and Shawna would see her ball almost leave the “Big 4” but the 6-10 would fall late. Shawna would go on to make her spare to stay clean. Dustin would continue to run away with the match with a four-bagger in the fifth. Mitchell would double up to try and keep up while Shawna also struck in the fifth.

Midway through the match and it looked like it was Dustin’s match to lose. Dustin would start off the sixth frame with a nasty split (4-6-7) as his ball would crash through the nose of the pocket. Dustin would not be able to pick up the spare as he would get the 4-7 but leave the 6-pin. Mitchell would try to take advantage of the open frame as he would strike in the sixth. Shawna would hit a bit of transition as her ball would take off leaving the 3-6-9-10. Shawna would not make the spare as she would leave the 9-pin standing for an open frame. Dustin would get back on the strike train in the seventh frame. Mitchell would leave a flat 10-pin, which he would not spare for an open frame. Shawna would struggle as she would get 3 on her first ball but was able to make the spare. Eighth frame would see Dustin strike again as it looked like this match was out of reach. Mitchell would see his ball hit light again and leave the 4-8, which is a tricky spare to make but he was able to convert. Shawna would strike to finish out the eighth frame. Dustin’s ninth frame would see him get the ball out a bit too early as it would come back through the nose leaving the 3-6, which he would spare. Mitchell would get a much-needed strike to set himself up in the tenth. Shawna would see her ball just miss a bit outside but pay the maximum penalty as she would leave the 1-2-8-10 and was able to convert the spare.

Going into the tenth we would Shawna finish up the match with a score of 203, We would then see Dustin go high and leave the 6-pin. Dustin would get a bit too far right too soon as his spare ball would miss the 6-pin for an open frame leaving Dustin with a score of 257. This would give Mitchell a chance as he would need to at least double in the tenth and get good count to win the match. Mitchell’s first ball off his hand would crush the pocket for a strike. Mitchell’s second ball would hit a bit high but carry the pocket for another strike. Mitchell would get another strike on his fill to finish with a score of 264. This would give Mitchell his first AHT SFT title and $1,050.00 first place prize! Congrats to Dustin Wengeler on second place for $300.00 (non-progressive) and also congrats to Shawna Strause on third place for $350.00!

Thank you to everyone who came out to bowl our tournament this weekend! It is always great to see so many faces coming out to give us a try. Also, thank you to Kat Weissmann and the staff at AMF Mesa for hosting us this weekend! Another big thank you to Michael Dragon and Tawna McDonald for all the hard work they do to keep our tournaments running! We will be off for the next couple of weeks as leagues come to a close. We will be back on Saturday, May 25th at Bowlero Kyrene as we kick off Day 1 of our 2024 3-Day Memorial Day Major! Hope you enjoy the time off and we will see you soon!!!


AMF Mesa Finals – Shawna Strause vs. Mitchell Hays vs. Dustin Wengeler!