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McEwan Captures Second Career Title at PWBA Wichita Open


Sometimes it s better to be lucky than good.

Fortunately, for Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, not only was she good, she also had a certain lucky charm in attendance
to help her to victory at the 2016 Professional Women's Bowling Association Wichita Open.
McEwan, who earned the No. 1 seed for the TV finals on the strength of a 1,543 match-play pinfall total, struck in five of the first seven frames en route to defeating Maria Jose Rodriguez of Austin, Texas, 210-171, at The
Ashwaubenon Bowling Alley for her second career PWBA title.

Rodriguez was clean through four frames until
she left a 4-6 split in the fifth, followed by a 7-10 split in the seventh frame, which stopped her momentum and left her trailing by 52 pins. A split in the eighth frame from McEwan could've made things interesting, but Rodriguez was unable to double in the ninth frame to put pressure on McEwan.

"Being the No 1 seed is hard," McEwan said. "You come out and have one game, and if its close or the other person shoots a big game, it almost feels like your hard work to get there is almost for nothing."
McEwan's rise to the top seed was not an easy one. With three games to go during the casher's round June
4 at Wichita's Northrock Lanes, she found herself in 27th place, still finished the match first, spared in the ninth frame and needed to double and get nine pins to shut
out Hamidi. She began the 10th frame with an eight-count spare, followed by a strike, which allowed Hamidi the chance to win the match.

While McEwan is more than capable of winning on her own, considering her overall skill level, fundamentals and knowledge of the game, it certainly doesn t hurt to have a good luck charm in the crowd when competing. McEwan s mother, Susan Varano, was in attendance and now has witnessed McEwan's first two PWBA titles in person.

"It means the world to have her here," said McEwan, whose 823 in match play was the first 800 series by any player since the re-launch of the PWBA Tour in 2015. "All the Team USA girls tease her and say she s my good-luck charm. She always shows up at the right moments. Sometimes, it s going badly and we put her in the corner, but it always turns around. She wasn't there when I made the show at the Queens (2016), and I didn't win, so I m going to make sure she gets a plane ticket when I make a show from now on."

The moment was not lost on Varano, who may want to give McEwan a cardboard cutout of herself as an early birthday present, just in case she s unable to make future TV finals. But for the PWBA Wichita Open finals, Varano had a front-row seat for her daughter's second professional title and she s had a lifetime first-class seat for McEwan's growth from youth bowler to collegiate star to PWBA standout. " It s just unbelievable pride," Varano said. "I see how much she works at this. I see it day in and day out with what she eats, what she drinks and what she reads. She lives this. This is what she wants. After watching Kelly and Liz and Shannon and Stefanie and all of the best for all of these years, and to all of a sudden hear her name with them, it s
a great feeling."

All qualifying and match-play rounds of the PWBA Wichita Open were held at Northrock Lanes in Wichita, Kansas, on June 3-4.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.