In a first for the Professional Bowlers Association, Mitch Beasley of Nashville, Tenn., defeated his wife, Inngellimar Beasley, 224-212, to win the PBA Shock Top Midwest Region Open at Plaza Lanes in St. Charles, Mo., Saturday. It was the first time in PBA history that a husband and wife bowled for a PBA title.
Mitch Beasley, a 21-year veteran of PBA competition, started the championship match with six strikes and held on despite a pair of unconverted splits to win his 17th PBA Regional title and the $2,200 first prize when Inngellimar, a lefthander, left solid 7 pins in the eighth, ninth and 10th frames to nullify her rally. Inngellimar added the $1,200 runner-up prize to the family’s bank account.
The previous week, Inngellimar, a 19-year member of Venezuela’s national women’s bowling team, won the PWBA Gastonia South Open presented by the PBA for her first professional title.
In the other half of a weekend doubleheader in St. Charles, amateur Shea Bittenbender of St. Charles nipped Blake DeMore of Springfield, Mo., 213-212, to win the PBA St. Charles Lanes Midwest Region Open at St. Charles Lanes on Sunday.
Mitch Beasley, 46, said he and Inngellimar, 39, met for the first time during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI last October in Las Vegas, and got married a month later. Eight months later, Mitch figured it was only a matter of time before the couple would have a showdown on the lanes.
“I made a comment a couple of weeks earlier that I was going to have to beat my wife for a title,” Mitch laughed. “I was kinda joking about it, but that’s what happened. I was actually fortunate my wife didn’t beat me.
“The first thing everyone told me was that I was going to be sleeping on the couch for a week,” he added. “During match play before the finals, she beat me, 250-220. She threw the last eight strikes to smoke me.”
To reach the title match, Inngellimar defeated amateur Neil Cooley of Lincoln, Neb., 243-200, in the semifinal game after Cooley defeated Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa, 219-216, in the first stepladder match.