Dukich Kicks Mitchell at Stix in St. Pete Beach
Valerie Dukich went undefeated to win her first Tiger Bay Area Amateur Tour (BAAT) tournament at Stix Billiards in St. Pete Beach, FL on August 21st. Dukich topped the field of 21 players in the $420-added event.
The tour welcomed newcomer Sandra Titone and welcomed back a few players to the event held at the “room with a view!” Windows at Stix look out over the intercoastal waterway in St. Pete Beach, offering a beautiful respite while waiting for a match. One player commented that she’d been playing pool for many years, but this was the first time she’d seen dolphins from inside a pool room!
The one-loss side final four matches featured Melissa Morlan vs. Kelly Cavanaugh and Chris Fields vs. Tour Director Stephanie Mitchell. Morlan, who had returned to the tour after a several-months break, was fighting her way through the one-loss side following a first round loss to Dukich. Cavanaugh, who has made her mark on the tour this year with two 2nd place finishes, also had been sent west by Dukich. Morlan came out of her corner fighting, and won all three games of 8-ball, one game of 9-ball and reached the hill before allowing Cavanaugh to take a game. Morlan closed the door on Cavanaugh, winning the match 5-1.
Meanwhile, Fields, who joined the tour last month making a statement with her 3rd place finish, was battling against Mitchell. Mitchell was making her way through the one-loss side, overcoming a second round loss to Cavanaugh. Like Morlan, Mitchell came out swinging and won the first three of four 8-ball games, then won two games and reached the hill in 9-ball. Fields won the next game, making the match 5-2. Fields now needed two games to win the match in the handicapped format, but it wasn’t to be. Mitchell finished off the last game, winning the match 6-2 and advancing to the next round. For their 7th place finishes, Cavanaugh and Fields won prize packages of gifts generously provided by our sponsors.
In the next one-loss round, Morlan matched up against Lana Loomis, who had arrived on the one-loss side, thanks to a defeat by Sabra MacArthur Beahn. The opponents traded groups of three wins, with Morlan taking the first three games of 9-ball, Loomis the next three, then Morlan the third three, which were games of 8-ball. The match was now hill-hill in the 7-4 race with one game of 8-ball left. Loomis sank the final 8-ball, winning the match with a score of 4-6.
The other match of the round was between Mitchell and Christine Brenner, who had also been victimized and sent to the one-loss side by Dukich. The score see-sawed in the 7-4 race. Both players reached the hill before Mitchell fired in the final ball and won the match 7-3. For their 5th place finishes, Morlan and Brenner took home $60.
The quarter-final match featured Loomis and Mitchell. Mitchell kicked into gear, winning four games of 8-ball, then three games of 9-ball, and reached the hill. Loomis won the next game and was launching a comeback, needing three more games. But Mitchell was on a roll and foiled her attempts, winning the final game and the match with a score of 8-1. Loomis claimed $100 for 4th place.
Congratulations to Brenner (5th) and Loomis (4th)! Each has played in several BAAT tournaments, including the first one ever held in January 2008. They both have previous best finishes of 9th place and both finished in the money today for the first time!
The semi-final match featured Mitchell and Beahn, who was sent left on the chart with a 5-2 defeat by Dukich. Beahn started off the match by winning the first game of 9-ball. That would be the last time she saw daylight, as Mitchell delivered her a 5-1 blow. Beahn ended up with 3rd place and $150.
Dukich was sitting in the hot seat waiting for Mitchell. The match started with 9-ball. The first game went back and forth with Dukich prevailing. In the second game, Dukich broke, made nothing, Mitchell missed the 1, and Dukich ran out. Game three featured easy shots missed by both players, with Mitchell winning the game. Mitchell now needed to win five games before Dukich won three. Games four and five again went back and forth, but Mitchell missed the 9-ball each time and Dukich won both, reaching the hill. She broke, made a ball and missed the 1. Following safety play and two more innings, Mitchell ran out from the 3. The score was now 4-2 Dukich, and the game changed to 8-ball. The players traded misses. Then, when it looked like Mitchell would win the game, she scratched on the ball before the 8, leaving Dukich with one ball and the 8-ball to pocket for the win and the match. Dukich was thrilled with her win, taking home $325 for 1st place. Mitchell’s runner- up finish earned her $225.
Thanks to Charlie, owner of Stix Billiards, and his staff members, for providing a great location for the tournament. Thanks also to our sponsors, including Tiger Products, Lucasi Hybrid, Sterling Gaming, Ozone Billiards, Ray Martin, Nick Varner, Strokeitwear.com, Robertson Billiard Supplies, Tweeten Fiber, Billiard Scoop, and Sports Rock, for making it possible for BAAT to give gifts to players, fans, and room owners.
1st Valerie Dukich $325
2nd Stephanie Mitchell $225
3rd Sabra MacArthur Beahn $150
4th Lana Loomis $100
5th-6th Christine Brenner $ 60
Melissa Morlan $ 60
7th-8th Kelly Cavanaugh Prizes
Chris Fields Prizes
For tour and schedule information, go to the BAAT Tour website at www.BAATtour.com, or contact Stephanie Mitchell at (813) 833-8707 or Sabra Beahn at (727) 480-2250.