Troy’s Baylie Massingill ready to defend Junior Gold national bowling title


TROY — You might call Baylie Massingill a natural on the bowling lanes.

In a very short time, she has made a name for herself and added to the family legacy.

Massingill, the 13-year old daughter of Jason and Megan Massingill, is also the brother of Bryce, who finished eighth in the OHSAA Division boys state tournament this year as a sophomore.

Baylie is on a successful path as well and in two weeks will be defending her United States Junior Bowling Congress title from a year ago in Grand Rapids, Mich. She also owns two Pepsi State titles, winning in 2019 and again this year at The Palce in Columbus.

“I have probably been bowling for about four or five years,” Massingill said. “When I started out, I was just bowling with the family for fun. I really didn’t expect to be this good at it.”

There was a tip-off to just how good she was.

“When I started beating my brother (Bryce Massingill), I realized there was something going on,” Massingill said. “We do (help each other). When we bowl, we both want to win. Whoever wins does some trash talking and the other one tells them I will beat you next time. It is a lot of fun.”

Massingill’s first big title was the Pepsi state title and she won that for the second time this year, rolling 1,260 for six games — an average of 210 per game.

She decided to bowl in the national tournament a year ago, competing in the Junior Gold 12U division.

“My brother had always bowled in the tournament,” Massingill said. “I just thought I would give it a try.”

The first cut was down to the top 14 bowlers and she easily made that, finishing fifth in qualifying.

Then, she went undefeated in the double elimation tournament, giving her the first seed for the championship match against Arielle Tharps in a TV final.

“I was feeling a little uncomfortable (with the TV cameras),” Massingill said. “I did (just focus on the bowling) once the match got started. I just tried to make sure nobody was staring at me. Because I was undefeated, she would have had to beat me twice. I only had to win once.”

She finished off the national title in style.

Tharps finished first and rolled a 184.

Massingill needed a mark in the tenth frame to secure the win and rolled a double for a 201 and a 17-pin victory.

“I didn’t realize what a big deal it was at the time,” Massingill said. “I thought it was just another tournament. Now, I understand what a big deal it was.”

When she returned to Troy, she started understand.

“People were texting my mom and saying I can’t believe she did it,” Massingill said. “All these people from Troy and bowlers were congratulating me.”

And she knows there are going to be high expectations for her in two weeks — even though it will be a much bigger challenge.

“I was bowling 12U last year and this year I have to bowl 15U and I am only 13,” Massingill, who will be in the eighth grade at Troy this fall, said. “I think everybody will be looking at me and expecting me to do well because I won last year. It is definitely going to be a big step up in competition.”

As she looks to earn more family bragging rights.

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