The first time Sarah Pelletier bowled a perfect 300 game, her hands were sweating and she was shaking. The nerves did nothing to throw off her game: She got 12 strikes in a row.

It was December 2008 in Portland when she was at home in Maine on a college break.

“Of course, everyone stops bowling and starts watching you,” said Pelletier, 24, of Lewiston during a recent Friday night at Sparetime Recreation in Lewiston.

Her longtime coach, Moe Dubuc, whom she described as “an amazing person,” was on the phone with his son who was watching her play the 10th frame in her first 300 game. Dubuc’s son was giving him a play by play so he could feel like he was there.

“He ran up to me at the end and told me Moe was on the phone, and I started to cry,” Pelletier said.

Dubuc died of leukemia the following April.

“(Dubuc) made me fall in love with it,” Pelletier said. “He would come in on his days off and coach me outside of the league. He was great. He is the one who got me really stuck on bowling, and I’m so glad he did.”

Since her first 300 game, Pelletier has bowled two others, and is the only female to have done so for the United States Bowling College’s Lewiston-Auburn Association.

“I don’t think it matters if you’re female or male, but you have to be consistent,” Pelletier said. “You usually have a lucky shot in there somewhere, but I don’t think gender makes a difference.”

Pelletier holds the state record for the highest three-series total for a woman. She had broken the 2003 record of 784 in December 2011 with a total of 792. In January 2012, she broke her record with a new total of 798.

She was upset that she didn’t bowl an 800, because no other female has done so in the state of Maine.

“I will break an 800,” she said. “I don’t know if it will be this year or not, but I will.”

Pelletier was 6 years old when she went to Sparetime in Lewiston on a Friday night for some family bowling. That night, she told her parents she wanted to bowl and she has stuck with the sport ever since.

She bowled in high school, and netted a couple of individual and team state championships. When looking for colleges, she made sure they were “bowling colleges,” places where she could continue to bowl at an NCAA level.

She had her heart set on Sacred Heart in Connecticut, and even met with the bowling coach three times before she was accepted to the college. She didn’t get a full ride to the school, but she received a bowling scholarship for a portion of the tuition, and was able to pay for books with scholarship money she won in youth tournaments.

Most recently, Pelletier was in Las Vegas, competing in the Queens Tournament in September. Then in October, she won the Tri-State Women’s Tournament in Vermont.

Now, the behavioral technician on the Psychiatric Unit at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center spends every Tuesday and Thursday bowling in leagues.

“Bowling is my time away from the stress of school and from working,” she said. “It gives me time to do what I love and to hang out with my friends. Bowling is relaxing and fun to me.”

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