Galante leads qualifying at first event of 2021 PWBA Tour season Matt Cannizzaro January 20, 2021 Qualifying results ARLINGTON, Texas - Coming into the 2021 Professional Women's Bowling Association season, Ashly Galante of Palm Harbor, Florida, feels she has matured beyond just the more than 500 days since her last PWBA Tour appearance, and her progress was on display Wednesday in qualifying at the season-opening PWBA Bowlers Journal Classic.The 32-year-old right-hander opened the event with a 245 game and averaged more than 222 over nine games at the International Training and Research Center to lead the 36-player field with a 2,000 total, but the true test of how far she has come will happen Thursday in match play.Still in search of her first PWBA Tour title, Galante will enter the next round of competition just a few pins ahead of the diverse group of contenders.Erin McCarthy of Omaha, Nebraska, and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, finished qualifying tied for second place with 1,995 and were followed by Shannon O'Keefe of Shiloh, Illinois (1,982), and Colombia's Maria José Rodriguez and Kristie Leong of Daly City, California, who tied with 1,946.Lindsay Boomershine of Perry, Utah, finished 12th to secure the final spot in match play with a 1,909 total, a 212.11 average.The Bowlers Journal Classic is the first event of the PWBA Kickoff Classic Series, which will feature three national tour stops and one regional event during its seven-day run at the ITRC, the home of Team USA.All of the qualifying and match-play rounds at the Kickoff Classic Series are being broadcast live at BowlTV.com, free of charge to visitors who create a login for the site. Each of the four events will conclude with formal stepladder finals, which will require a BowlTV subscription to watch live.Too many times in the past, Galante has expected the environment to be the same from one round to the next, but she's ready to see the new day through fresh eyes and show how much she has learned from past struggles."Being the leader feels amazing, and I definitely left feeling confident, but I know it's not about how you start, it's how you finish," Galante said. "From the past, I learned not to expect things to be the same tomorrow, and it will be about watching my ball reaction, letting the lanes dictate my plan and trying to be quick and confident with my moves. "I've had experiences where I've made match play and gone from being in the top five to completely out. Unfortunately, it's a mistake I've made more than once. When you don't do well, you always learn something, and it's what you do with that information that matters."Competition at the ITRC will resume Thursday with match-play rounds at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern, after which, 21-game pinfall totals, including bonus pins for each win in match play, will determine the four players for the stepladder finals at 9 p.m. EST.This week's action marks the first national PWBA competition since September 2019, when O'Keefe became the last player to hoist a trophy at the end of a PWBA Tour event. She won the season-ending PWBA Tour Championship for her third career major title and 13th win overall, a victory that capped a five-win dream season and earned O'Keefe a second consecutive PWBA Player of the Year Award.The 2020 PWBA Tour season was canceled due to COVID-19.The next event of the Kickoff Classic Series will be the PWBA ITRC Classic, which will be contested Friday and Saturday. The PWBA Arlington Regional will take the spotlight Sunday, and the excitement will conclude with the PWBA Hall of Fame Classic on Monday and Tuesday. The Hall of Fame Classic will feature the week's top 24 performers, based on their 18-game pinfall totals from the Bowlers Journal Classic and ITRC Classic. Each event also will feature a different lane condition.The prize fund for each of the three national tour stops will be $65,000, with $10,000 going to each champion.The 2021 PWBA Tour season will feature 20 events, highlighted by the introduction of the Classic Series events and an increase in the season's overall prize fund by nearly $400,000.To learn more about the PWBA Tour, visit PWBA.com.