Lightning strikes in the same place twice

Shawn Murray captured the moment he bowled a perfect game.

GREENSBURG — Spare yourself a minute and listen to this striking story.

Within five minutes of each other, on the third and final game of the night in their local bowling league, two men bowled a perfect 300 at Parkside Lanes in Greensburg Wednesday.

Tom Shoettmer, owner and manager of Parkside Lanes, said this is the first time since the bowling alley’s opening in 1962 that something like this has happened.

“It’s very rare. It’s almost unheard of to have two of them in a town this size, especially at the same time,” Schoettmer said. “It’s pretty rare to have a 300 game bowled in a season. We’ve had one so far, and then one that bowled a 299, but we’ve never had two 300 games bowled in the same night!”

There are 17 teams in the Wednesday Night Men’s League, five to a team, who bowl three games each week. When it comes to the odds of this scenario happening at Parkside Lanes, perhaps this could be compared to two golfers sinking a hole-in-one on the same hole within just minutes of each other.

Statistically speaking, the odds for a PBA bowler rolling a 300 are 460 to 1, while it’s 11,500 to 1 for the average bowler, according to Golf Digest.

So, the odds of two non-PBA bowlers bowling a perfect game within just minutes of each other … well, you do the math. Lightning probably has a better chance of striking the same place twice.

One of the men who walked away with a 300-game, Shawn Murray, 34, said he’s been bowling for 18 years, and this was the first time he’s been “perfect.”

“I was excited,” Murray said. “I thought to myself, ‘It finally happened.’”

The other gentleman, Don Hoegeman, who couldn’t be reached for comment (maybe he’s still in shock!), walked down to congratulate his fellow “perfect” bowler before his game had even concluded.

“He congratulated me before his game was even over,” Murray said. “Then, I went down to watch him bowl a 300 and congratulate him.”

Before their perfect games, Murray had bowled a 158 and a 193. Hoegeman had bowled a 212 and a 211. On the night, Murray walked away with 19 strikes and Hoegeman had 24 strikes.

Either the planets aligned, or something was in the air that night.

“It’ll probably never happen again,” Murray said in regards to two bowlers walking away with perfect games almost simultaneously.

The odds say he’s probably right.

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at

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