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Bowler Rosie Bates recounts ‘the best moment of my life’

Rosie Bates had a night to remember at Winnetka Bowl.
Rosie Bates had a night to remember at Winnetka Bowl.
Fred Eisenhammer

Rosie Bates believes it’s important for people to show humility and exhibit a modest lifestyle.

So she was taken aback when her team’s summer-league opponent June 30 at Winnetka Bowl started “talking trash” from the get-go. Rosie, an assistant principal at Taft High School, listened as her young opponents prattled on about the pummeling that her team was going to endure during the match.

That didn’t sit well with Rosie, a 150-average bowler.

“So how can I shut them up?’’ she thought.

Rosie found a way. After rolling a disappointing 124 in her team’s first-game loss, Rosie blasted a 189 in her second game before blistering a 278 shocker in the finale as her team claimed the final two games.

Her opponents had little to say after the match was over, recalled Rosie, who rolled strikes on her first nine shots in the third game as she made a strong bid for a 300.

Rosie, a right-hander, knocked down eight pins on her first shot in the 10th frame, converted the spare and then added a strike on her last shot.

“It was the best moment of my life,” said Rosie about her 278, a whopping 40 pins above her previous best.

“That’s why I’m bowling in the winter now, so I can try to repeat it.”

Rosie is a hard-throwing, straight-shot bowler and she admits that her 10 strikes in the final game weren’t exactly the textbook variety.

“It looked like the worst strike hits,” said Rosie, smiling. “It looked like [the pins] shouldn’t have all gone down.

“ ‘Oh, my.’ They didn’t look pretty the whole time. They just weren’t clean.”

But the bottom line is that Rosie turned in a stunning, near-perfect performance in her finale, finishing with a stellar 591 series (197 average). As she was piling up the strikes, her teammates tried to keep their distance from her so she could maintain focus.

“When I hit the first seven, no one was looking me in the face,” Rosie said.

One of those teammates was Rosie’s husband, Gerald Bates. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. My wife is going to bowl a 300 and I’ll never hear the end of it,’ ” he said, laughing.

Said Rosie: “It was crazy.”

And fun.