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This bowler found her groove 35 years later

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This is one of my favorite examiner.com stories and originally ran Feb. 21, 2012. The story demonstrates the grip that bowling can have on its most ardent fans.

“I love this so much,” exclaimed Diane Marie Pineda as she danced on the lanes after converting a spare in the seventh frame of her second game Monday night.

Pineda then hugged her two companions as she celebrated her return to bowling after a shoulder injury had sidelined her for two months. A month before she suffered her injury at work, Pineda had returned to the game after a 35-year break.

Pineda had bowled as high as 180 in high school “many moons ago,” and she was hoping to replicate that effort at some point in her return. In her first month back, she slogged through a number of double-digit games before scoring a high of 114.

But on Monday night, Pineda got hot.

She bowled a 111 in her first game and then bowled a highly impressive 156 in her second and final game that attracted notice from bowlers around the alley at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills. In the second game, the engaging Pineda rolled three strikes and four spares with her accurate spinning curve.

“I came back with a vengeance,” said Pineda, laughing.

Pineda’s strong series begged the question: Does one’s enthusiasm for the game affect a bowler’s score?

One person feels there’s a direct correlation.

And that’s Pineda.

“I think if you love doing something, it helps you do it well,” said Pineda, a Newbury Park resident. “That doesn’t mean you’ll do it perfectly, but as long as you feel good . . . and I felt really good.”

Pineda added that she “amazed myself with a 156. I was scared. I thought I’d be bowling back at 68.”

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