Deb Capullo’s body English told the story.
Capullo flinched when she tugged her shot in the ninth frame, resulting in a 4-9 split that prevented her from making area bowling history Sunday at Towne Bowling Academy.
Capullo was working on five strikes in a row at the time, and although she finished with a 245, it wasn’t enough, as Patti Tenyenhuis of Saugerties fired a 269 to win the first-ever Huck Finn/Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York’s “Capital Region Bowling Show” women-only tournament.
“Honestly, I knew I got the ball a little left of target. I knew I dserved what I got,” said the 36-year-old Capullo, who is the wife of Towne proprietor Marty Capullo Jr. and the author of 15 perfect games and four 800 triples. A math teacher at Mohonasen High School, Capullo also has two Queens championships on her resume. She tossed back-to-back 300s in 1996.
“I didn’t feel any tension or pressure on that shot, but my push-away was a little left. When you make a bad shot, it’s because you did it. There are no excuses,” she said. “Patti bowled a great game. I’ve known her for a long time. In fact, we tried to qualify for this tournament together.
“All I can say is I’m so glad the proprietors took a chance on us. They gave us the opportunity to show what we can do, and I think the women-only tournament was a success. I’m bowling only once a week now ever since the birth of my son, and I can honestly say that my physical game got a lot better just trying to prepare for this tournament.”
The 42-year-old Tenyenhuis, an IT consultant in Kingston, was well prepared for the pressure-packed final game.
“I was a little nervous before the competition, but I’ve got a lot of years in this game. I was very comfortable during the finals,” she said. “Although I’ve done a lot of bowling in tournaments, I must say that this is my biggest win ever. It’s my first time on television and one of my biggest purses ever.”
Tenyenhuis, who has five WASA titles to her credit, earned $1,000 for the victory. Her match will be seen Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. on Fox23 WXXA Ch. 8.
“I said to myself before I got here that you can only control what you do out on the lanes, so I wasn’t worried about who was rooting for me or not,” Tenyenhuis said about the partisan crowd that was rooting for Capullo all the way.
Tenyenhuis made a 6-10 spare to open the championship game and then strung three strikes in a row. After making a 10-pin spare in the fifth frame, she fired seven strikes in a row to win the match. Capullo struck in the first two frames, made a 10-pin spare in the third frame and collected five strikes in a row before the 4-9 split.
In the semifinals, Capullo used a six-timer to defeat Suzie Neumann of East Greenbush, 248-224, while Tenyenhuis defeated left-hander Jessica DeCrescente of Albany, 244-215.
Threre were 88 total qualifiers for the women-only tournament.
The women’s finals wasn’t the only exciting match taped Sunday night. Joe Mazuryk put together the most dominating performance in the five-year history of the show by tossing a 299 game against Tom Yadanza in the semifinals and a 279 against Ryan Paulsen in the championship game. He left a 4-pin on his final shot against Yadanza and left a 10-pin in the seventh frame against Paulsen.
“I knew if I could get it off my hand right, there was a good ball reaction tonight,” said Mazuryk.
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