Oak Harbor woman rolls first Oak Bowl 300-game

Some bowlers wait their whole lives to roll a 300 game. How about one who only had to wait two years?

  • Sunday, March 10, 2002 1:00pm
  • Sports

Some bowlers wait their whole lives to roll a 300 game. How about one who only had to wait two years?

It happened on March 3 when Debra Fitzwater of Oak Harbor became the first woman to roll a perfect game in the 48-year history of the Oak Bowl. What’s more amazing is that Fitzwater has been playing the game for a little bit less than two years.

Fitzwater, who began bowling when she started working at the Oak Bowl, was taking part in Sunday night’s Movers and Shakers League when she rolled the magic game on lanes 15 and 16.

“It was amazing how it happened,” she said. “I lined up and threw strikes and one led to another. I bowled seven, and then eight strikes and everyone started watching.”

With a full house watching her every move, Fitzwater scored a strike on her ninth frame and then another on the tenth. As she readied herself for the 11th and final frame she had a serious case of the nerves to overcome.

“I was shaking and getting nervous,” she said. “I got the tenth strike and the house went wild. After I got the 11th (and final) strike I almost passed out.”

For Fitzwater it was just one of those nights when everything came together perfectly.

“It was quite an experience,” she said. “It was just an awesome night – the ball went right where I wanted it to and they were all pocket strikes.”

Fitzwater has only been bowling for two years, but she puts a large amount of time into practice and play. She sports a 165-average and participates in three weekly league’s, including a men’s league.

“Debra’s really dedicated,” said Kathy Cockrell, co-owner of the Oak Bowl. “She started working here and she began bowling. She called me the night that she rolled the 300 and she was so excited.”

For Fitzwater, who has already rolled a 600-series, it was one goal in a long list of many.

“It was a goal I had. Now I want to roll a 700-series and then an 800-series,” she said. “And then who knows, maybe another 300 game too.”