By Tony Contini and Aaron Smith
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. – Lynette Carone of San Ramon, California, and Cynthia Pisani of Castro Valley, California, celebrated their birthdays in style by rolling into the top spot in Emerald Doubles at the 2018 United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships.

Carone led the charge Friday at the National Bowling Stadium, rolling games of 219, 234 and 225 for a 678 series, while Pisani added 165, 173 and 179 for a 517 set to push the pair to a 1,195 total.

Gretchen Rieder of Richmond, Minnesota, and Angela Kiess of Albany, Minnesota, previously led Emerald Doubles with 1,105.

Both Carone and Pisani enjoyed their birthdays just days before taking the lead in Reno, but they nearly had their on-lane celebration cut short.

When they first arrived in town, the plan was for Carone to bowl doubles with one of their new teammates, but she didn’t want to break from the tradition they shared as doubles partners over the course of their tournament career.

After they found themselves at the top of the standings, the feeling only could be described as surreal.

“Lynette bowled her socks off,” said Pisani, a 61-year-old right-hander who made her fifth tournament appearance. “When’s she happy and gets in that groove, she can’t be stopped. We care about doing well, but we make sure not to get too tense. If you get tense, you won’t bowl well.”

The teammates like to keep things light on the lanes, but they also have a competitive side that fuels one another.

“There’s a little rivalry here,” said Carone, a 59-year-old left-hander making her 10th USBC Women’s Championships appearance. “We want to beat each other, but we also make sure to let newcomers know it’s just for fun.”

Carone’s big number in doubles also helped her move towards the top of the Emerald All-Events standings. She added sets of 561 in singles and 491 in team to finish with a 1,730 total, placing her second overall. Wendy Mann of South Elgin, Illinois, leads with 1,799.

“It was exciting today,” Carone said. “I got here ready to bowl. They probably didn’t like me too much today, because when I’m excited, I chat a lot.”

Emerald Doubles includes bowlers with combined entering averages of 320-349, and Emerald All-Events features bowlers with entering averages of 160-174.

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