Mine was doing this same thing when I first opened it. Make sure the plunger tip is centered on the ball when it's sitting in the shooter lane. If it's off center this will cause the ball to bounce around on its way out. You can adjust the position by loosening the 3 screws holding it in place. Also, try replacing the shooter rod spring with a weaker one. Mine shipped with an orange spring and is way too powerful in my opinion for this game.