Vicki Hobscheid rolled into history Sunday as the first bowler in the 57 years of Beat the Champions to earn a second title.

”I hoped I would give myself a chance,’’ Hobscheid said. ”Did I ever think I would win again? Oh God no. That is crazy.’’

Crazy will help the future. Hobscheid was bowling carrying her first child, a daughter due in July.The Algonquin woman rolled a scratch 916 at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove and held off Sharon Watkins (900).

In 2014, Hobscheid, then Guadagno, won a Ford Focus by winning the women’s title at Liberty Lanes in Carpentersville with a 943.

As Sunday went on, Hobscheid, who works for CVS benefits verification, threw better with games of 214, 206, 238 and 258.

In BTC finals, bowlers roll four games, moving two pairs of lanes after each game.

”I made a ball change before third game, best decision ever,’’ Hobscheid said. ”Same switch I made the last time [to her Storm Reign]. My other ball just wasn’t working.’’

Her bowling worked well enough to earn her league at Wood Dale Bowl, the Wednesday Night Mixed, $500 for the prize fund as a league with 100-percent entry in BTC. She averages 214 in the league, where she bowls with her husband John Hobscheid and her dad Frank Guadagno.

At the 2014 BTC, she and her future husband were about to buy a house. They were married in 2015. Now they another step into the future with their first child and that is where the $7,500 top prize will be going.

”Nursery, anything for the baby,’’ Hobscheid said.

Vickie Hobscheid became the first in 57 years of Beat the Champions to win two titles.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Watkins, an accountant from Lansing who averages 156 at Skyway Bowl, carried 194 pins of handicap and rolled games of 170, 154, 222 and 160.

In BTC, the charity bowling tournament run by the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association, handicap is 90 percent of difference of average below 210.

”Just had to focus on the third game, I knew I had to bring the second game up big,’’ said Watkins, who was using her new Storm Tropical ball.

The big number remains the the $2.856,618.43 raised for charity from 5,768,200 entries in the first 56 years of BTC, for which the Sun-Times is media sponsor.

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MERRITT MAKES OWN HISTORY: Erica Merritt made her own Beat the Champions history Sunday at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove. The Chicago marketing manager became the first one to earn two third-place finishes in the 57 years of BTC. Merritt, who was also third two years ago, rolled a scratch 890.

Merritt, who advanced out Burr Oak bowl and came in with a 220 average (highest Sunday), opened with a 183.

“I just couldn’t strike on the right lane the first game,’’ she said.

Then she found her groove and finished with games of 258, 224 and 225.

“Hopefully, I will be back,’’ said Merritt, who was encouraged that Vicki Hobscheid won as a scratch bowler.

ALTERNATE: Dichelle Casey, a teacher from Robbin who advanced from Bluebird Lanes, made the most of being an alternate reaching the finals. She finished fourth with a 885, which included 82 pins of handicap.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN: Melissa Mollett, an executive assistant at Morton College, finished with with 883, including 57 pins of handicap.

“I left 50 pins on the lanes,’’ she rued. “But I was proud to be here.’’

NEW: Cindy Smith, out of Castaways Bowl, won the new feature this year. Her card was drawn from all the non-qualifiers. She wins a Storm bowling ball and will also be invited with a guest to the taping of BTC target show for 2018-19 in a VIP seat and will have a meet-and-greet with the pros.

MEN: The men’s finals are March 11 at Waveland Bowl in Chicago.

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Women’s finals

Classic Bowl, Morton Grove

Sunday’s results

Bowler, Center G1-G2-G3-G4-HDP–TOT

Vicki Hobscheid, Wood Dale 214-206-238-258-0–916

Sharon Watkins, Skyway 170-154-222-160-194–900

Erica Merritt, Burr Oak 183-258-224-225-0–890

Dichelle Casey, Bluebird 213-210-214-166-82–885

Melissa Mollett, Lynwood 224-174-191-237-57–883

Janet Cook, Classic 146-176-178-188-190–878

Sharon Bright, Dolton 164-211-231-153-111–870

Terri Crawley, Poplar Creek 218-247-183-211-3–862

Caitlin Kelly, Arlington 161-136-136-112-302–860

Stephanie Aldridge, Hillside 215-137-160-211-86–850

Mary Jane Kelly, Bluebird 130-138-153-102-324–847

Cheryl Robinson, Arena 138-150-122-164-270–844

Ronda Perry, Burr Oak 156-151-178-153-205–843

Missy Yurs, Four Seasons 153-173-173-206-108–842

Danielle Beeck, Rolling 192-173-195-151-118–829

Patricia Hampton, Castaways 191-178-145-244-68–826

Tracy Banks, Skyway 212-180-179-172-82–825

Terri Sniegolski, Orland 162-174-173-143-169–821

Jody Svoboda, Mardi Gras 132-128-132-110-316–818

Robyn Hamilton, BZ-Woodridge 157-148-143-121-248–817

Lila Davis-Newman, Castaways 199-172-153-183-97–804

Belinda Pagan, BZ-River Grove 128-158-186-146-183–801

Laura Kupiec, Orland 165-118-139-123-255–800

Debbie Pascarella, Tinley 161-237-175-162-61–796

Doris Cajigas, Habetler 172-134-159-156-172–793

Michelle Berry, Elk Grove 129-135-136-146-241–787

Leslie Gillie, Oak Forest 167-190-221-190-10–778

Susan Tragos, Tinley 154-144-150-102-226–776

Melanie Reed, Burr Oak 211-173-164-139-86–773

Christina Andes, El-Mar 130-264-160-121-183–758

Tinecha Banks, Dolton 203-143-179-180-14–719

Catherine Zaworski, Arlington 135-136-149-147-136–703


1st: $7,500, 2nd: 50-inch smart HDTV, 3rd: 43-inch smart HDTV, 4th: 32-inch smart HDTV, 5th: 24-inch smart HDTV, 6th-13th: Hammer Black Widow Gold Ball and Hammer two-ball tote bag, 14th-21st: Hammer Black Widowl Gold Ball, 22nd-32nd: KR StrikeForce 2-ball roller bowling bag

Beat the Champions sign for 2017-18.
Credit: Dale Bowman