LAS VEGAS – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, finally claimed the USBC Senior Queens tiara she’s coveted, defeating fellow USBC Hall of Famer Jeanne Naccarato at Gold Coast on Sunday.
Johnson, a 55-year-old left-hander, capped a dominating performance this week with a 267-191 title-match victory over Naccarato of Tacoma, Washington. Johnson earned $8,000 for the win, while Naccarato’s second-place finish netted her $6,400.
Johnson, who recorded four consecutive runner-up finishes at the Senior Queens from 2013-2016, left no doubt in 2018, striking on nine of her first 10 deliveries in the final.
Naccarato, who claimed her third career title at the National Golden Ladies Classic earlier in the week, put herself in position to win a second title in Las Vegas but saw her chance slip away after back-to-back opens in the fifth and sixth frames against Johnson.
Between the USBC Queens and Senior Queens, Johnson failed to secure a tiara in nine championship-round appearances prior to her win Sunday.
When she saw the look she wanted during practice on the championship pair and caught a few early hits against Naccarato, the 25-time Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour titlist knew it was her time.
“I saw a lot of different looks during match play, but the championship pair played just like qualifying for me,” said Johnson, who also is a member of the PWBA Hall of Fame. “Right away, I had a game plan, and anytime I can go away from the pocket, I can be pretty dangerous.
“You lead (the Senior Queens) enough and start to wonder if it’s ever going to be your turn. After getting a messenger in the first, tripping out the 6-8 and seeing Jeanne miss a couple of spares, which she never does, I started to think it was going to be my time. Being able to have my family and a lot of friends here made it incredible.”
Johnson earned the top spot through qualifying (234.47 average for 15 games) and rolled through match play leading up to her title tilt against Naccarato. She averaged more than 240 in her five wins in match play, including a 782-603 victory over Sharon Powers of Lakewood, Colorado, to claim the top seed for the stepladder finals.
As the top seed in the true double-elimination format, Naccarato would’ve had to beat Johnson twice to claim her first tiara.
Naccarato advanced to the title match with a dramatic finish against Powers, delivering three strikes in the 10th frame to win, 204-203. Powers, who qualified second, had the chance to shut out Naccarato, but she left a 2-4-5 combination on her fill ball to give Naccarato the opening.
Naccarato, the No. 3 seed, used a late run of four consecutive strikes to best Michele Carter of National City, California, 228-212.
In the opening match of the stepladder, Carter started with six consecutive strikes and outdistanced Shandy Simchen, also from Tacoma, 244-220.
A four-player shootout round determined the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds for the stepladder, and Naccarato paced the field with a 683 series. Simchen earned the No. 4 seed with a 622 effort, and Carter claimed the final spot by finishing with a 236 game to edge MeiLing Billingsley of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, 571-567. Billingsley finished in sixth place.
Qualifying at the 2018 Senior Queens consisted of 15 games over two days to determine the 31 players who joined defending champion and USBC Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, in the double-elimination match-play bracket.
All matches leading up to the stepladder finals were decided by total pinfall over three games.
BOWL.com’s BowlTV provided wire-to-wire coverage of the event.
For more information on the USBC Senior Queens, visit BOWL.com/SeniorQueens.
2018 USBC Senior Queens
At Gold Coast, Las Vegas
Saturday’s and Sunday’s results
1, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3,517. 2, Sharon Powers (SS), Lakewood, Colo., 3,478. 3, Leanne Hulsenberg, Pleasant View, Utah, 3,369. 4, Michele Carter, National City, Calif., 3,360. 5, Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif., 3,276. 6, Deborah Lee, Canada, 3,249.
7, Kimberly Power, San Leandro, Calif., 3,239. 8, Laura Hardeman, Chula Vista, Calif., 3,214. 9, Sharon Aronson, Turlock, Calif., 3,183. 10, Char Hammel (SS), Las Vegas, 3,176. 11, Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, Calif., 3,173. 12, Beth Owen-Cipielewski, Bradenton, Fla., 3,148.
13, Kristy Whitcher (SS), Belfair, Wash., 3,121. 14, MeiLing Billingsley, Lee’s Summit, Mo., 3,090. 15, Paula Vidad, Sun City, Calif., 3,079. 16, Tori Carter, Las Vegas, 3,078. 17, Cheryl Keslar, Tonganoxie, Kan., 3,076. 18, Janell Niles, Cottage Grove, Minn., 3,074.
19(tie), Barb Demorest (SS), Bellingham, Wash., and Penny Fentiman (SS), Sweet Home, Ore., 3,062. 21, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio, 3,052. 22, Karen Barcal, Albuquerque, N.M., 3,049. 23, Jeanne Naccarato (SS), Tacoma, Wash., 3,044. 24, Heidi Pagenkopf (SS), Lynnwood, Wash., 3,041.
25, Della Kallenback, Fairfield, Calif., 3,031. 26, Terri Stynes, San Jose, Calif., 3,030. 27(tie), Julie Harrison, Australia, and Linda Kelly (SS), Dayton, Ohio, 3,029. 29, Tayna Spaulding, Colorado Springs, Colo., 3,028. 30, Shandy Simchen, Tacoma, Wash., 3,019.
31, Debbie Wade (SS), Salt Lake City, 2,988. 33, Lucy Sandelin (SS), Tampa, Fla., 2,978*.
DID NOT ADVANCE
32, Karen Rowe, Columbiana, Ala., 2,986. 34, Melanie McAllister, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,970. 35, Gianna Miles, Loxahatchee, Fla., 2,953. 36, Edissa Andrade, Panama, 2,929.
37, Marci Williams (SS), Wichita, Kan., 2,928. 38, Evelyn Greene, Columbia, Md., 2,925. 39, Pam Lawrence (SS), Pflugerville, Texas, 2,924. 40(tie), June Shimoda (SS), Fresno, Calif., and Rosanne Costanzo (SS), San Diego, 2,912. 42, Terri Ward, Loveland, Colo., 2,906.
43, Linda Bradshaw, O’ Fallon, Ill., 2,900. 44, Angie Brown, England, 2,885. 45, Karen Miller (SS), Las Vegas, 2,882. 46, Debby Essary, Paris, Texas, 2,881. 47, Yolanda Garrett (SS), The Colony, Texas, 2,874. 48, Kelly Kruschel, Canada, 2,857.
49, Robyn Flynn, Australia, 2,835. 50, Lauraine Fast (SS), Canada, 2,824. 51, Lynn Louze, Mosinee, Wis., 2,821. 52, Kim Crompton, Birmingham, Ala., 2,818. 53, Geri Hoefs (SS), Mobile, Ala., 2,814. 54, Christina Niles, Florence, Ariz., 2,811.
55, Laurie Lanfier, Muscatine, Iowa, 2,801. 56, Karen Medalen, Monterey, Calif., 2,798. 57, Elizabeth Wong (SS), Canada, 2,797. 58, Judith Leroux, Meraux, La., 2,783. 59, Camille Kohner, Bloomington, Minn., 2,740. 60(tie), Cindy McBride (SS), Plano, Texas, and Diana Cavins (SS), Boulder City, Nev., 2,731.
62, Carmen Aguilar, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2,728. 63, Guadalupe Coparropa (SS), Panama, 2,727. 64, Jackie Wyckoff (SS), Campbell, Calif., 2,722. 65, Debbie Colby, Frisco, Texas, 2,702. 66, Ann Sperling, Byram Township, N.J., 2,700.
67, Jacqueline Delawski, Williston Park, N.Y., 2,696. 68, Lisa Goodson, Ardmore, Okla., 2,685. 69, Carole Jones (SS), Englewood, Colo., 2,681. 70, Lynn Minning (SS), Austin, Texas, 2,663. 71, Nereyda Mock, Panama, 2,662. 72, Susan O’Hara, Sahuarita, Ariz., 2,650.
73, Kym Bradley-Hanon, Cedar Crest, N.M., 2,624. 74, Marena Zanelli, Phoenix, 2,620. 75, Maria Sutphin, Maitland, Fla., 2,527. 76, Karen Holder, Panama, 2,501. 77, Karla Alsgood (SS), Rio Linda, Calif., 2,436. 78, Tammy Moreno (SS), Caldwell, Texas, 2,349.
79, Lynne Ono, Pearl City, Hawaii, 2,313. 80, Linda Andrews (SS), Highlands Ranch, Colo., 1,743 (WD). 81, Julie Koch, Bloomington, Minn., 1,637 (WD).
*As the defending champion, Sandelin was guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the match-play bracket.
Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall
(Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket).
(1) Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., def. (32) Lucy Sandelin, Tampa, Fla., 701-565
(16) Tori Carter, Las Vegas, def. (17) Cheryl Keslar, Tonganoxie, Kan., 695-544
(24) Heidi Pagenkopf, Lynnwood, Wash., def. (9) Sharon Aronson, Turlock, Calif., 532-512
(8) Laura Hardeman, Chula Vista, Calif., def. (25) Della Kallenback, Fairfield, Calif., 572-571
(5) Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif., def. (28) Linda Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 651-584
(12) Beth Owen-Cipielewski, Bradenton, Fla., def. (21) Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio, 653-557
(13) Kristy Whitcher, Belfair, Wash., def. (20) Barb Demorest, Bellingham, Wash., 603-575
(4) Michele Carter, National City, Calif., def. (29) Tayna Spaulding, Colorado Springs, Colo., 638-570
(30) Shandy Simchen, Tacoma, Wash., def. (3) Leanne Hulsenberg, Pleasant View, Utah, 626-551
(14) MeiLing Billingsley, Lee’s Summit, Mo., def. (19) Penny Fentiman, Sweet Home, Ore., 654-617
(11) Debbie Ayers, La Mesa, Calif., def. (22) Karen Barcal, Albuquerque, N.M., 615-553
(27) Julie Harrison, Australia, def. (6) Deb Lee, Canada, 525-521
(26) Terri Stynes, San Jose, Calif., def. (7) Kimberly Power, San Leandro, Calif., 670-660
(23) Jeanne Naccarato, Tacoma, Wash., def. (10) Char Hamel, Las Vegas, 632-576
(18) Janell Niles, Cottage Grove, Minn., def. (15) Paula Vidad, Sun City, Calif., 668-538
(2) Sharon Powers, Lakewood, Colo., def. (31) Debbie Wade, Salt Lake City, 599-531
ROUND 2 – WINNERS BRACKET
Johnson def. T. Carter, 773-677
Hardeman def. Pagenkopf, 686-634
Owen-Cipielewski def. Romeo, 597-563
M. Carter def. Whitcher, 616-544
Billingsley def. Simchen, 636-504
Harrison def. Ayers, 645-569
Naccarato def. Stynes, 673-546
Powers def. Niles, 664-617
ROUND 2 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $635)
Sandelin def. Keslar, 594-589
Spaulding def. Demorest, 624-566
Aronson def. Kallenback, 625-588
Kelly def. Wilson, 594-549
Hulsenberg def. Fentiman, 671-602
Barcal def. Lee, 670-605
Wade def. Vidad, 702-582
Power def. Hammel, 626-585
ROUND 3 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $690)
Ayers def. Sandelin, 667-579
Simchen def. Spaulding, 639-550
Aronson def. Stynes, 665-664
Kelly def. Niles, 620-592
Hulsenberg def. Pagenkopf, 732-531
T. Carter def. Barcal, 638-571
Romeo def. Wade, 687-585
Power def. Whitcher, 640-581
ROUND 3 – WINNERS BRACKET
Johnson def. Hardeman, 645-569
M. Carter def. Owen-Cipielewski, 642-566
Billingsley def. Harrison, 579-567
Powers def. Naccarato, 744-704
ROUND 4 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $775)
Simchen def. Ayers, 686-669
Kelly def. Aronson, 638-608
Hulsenberg def. T. Carter, 672-544
Romeo def. Power, 747-725
ROUND 4 – WINNERS BRACKET
Johnson def. M. Carter, 707-542
Powers def. Billingsley, 657-606
ROUND 5 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $950)
Simchen def. Owen-Cipielewski, 679-620
Kelly def. Hardeman, 685-597
Naccarato def. Hulsenberg, 666-657
Romeo def. Harrison, 697-551
ROUND 5 – WINNERS BRACKET
(Winner earns No. 1 seed for stepladder; loser is No. 2 seed)
Johnson def. Powers, 782-603
ROUND 6 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Losers eliminated, earn $1,250)
Simchen def. Kelly, 654-541
Naccarato def. Romeo, 664-653
ROUND 7 – ELIMINATION BRACKET
(Three highest scores advance to stepladder, high score is No. 3 seed, second-high is No. 4, third-high is No. 5, lowest score is eliminated, earns $1,800).
Naccarato 683, Simchen 622, M. Carter 571, Billingsley 567
1, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 267 (one game), $8,000
2, Jeanne Naccarato, Tacoma, Wash., 623 (three games), $6,400
3, Sharon Powers, Lakewood, Colo., 203 (one game), $5,000
4, Michele Carter, National City, Calif., 456 (two games), $3,900
5, Shandy Simchen, Tacoma, Wash., 220 (one game), $3,000
Match One – Carter def. Simchen, 244-220
Match Two – Naccarato def. Carter, 228-212
Semifinal – Naccarato def. Powers, 204-203
Championship – Johnson def. Naccarato, 267-191