Mitchell survives a one-loss side challenge to win BAAT stop

Stephanie Mitchell and Cortney Bernard

Seven of the 15 matches among the final 12 competitors in the Bay Area Amateur Tour stop on Saturday, July 23, went to double hill, including the hot seat match, quarterfinals and the second set of the true double elimination final.  Tour director Stephanie Mitchell was involved in two out of those three, hung on at the end to defeat tour newcomer, Cortney Bernard, and took home the top prize. The $360-added event drew 18 entrants to Mitchell's room, Corner Pocket in Largo, FL.

From among the winners' side final four, Mitchell made short work of Tammy Gillis, defeating her 7-1 to move into the hot seat match versus Bernard.  Bernard chalked up the first of three double hill matches, sending Marcie Whitaker west 5-3 (Whitaker needing 4). As would happen in the finals, Bernard took Mitchell to the brink in the battle for the hot seat, but Mitchell prevailed 7-3 (Bernard needing  4).

Gillis moved over for a match against Tracey Mullin, who'd shut out Mary Lou Mendez and survived a double hill battle over Jamie Toennies (who had just completed a double hill victory over Sabra MacArthur-Beahn). Whitaker picked up Kelly Cavanaugh, who, after being sent to the one-loss side by Gillis, defeated Jessica Barnes 4-2, and shut out Connie Mago.

Cavanaugh and Whitaker battled to double hill before Cavanaugh advanced to the quarterfinals and a re-match versus Gillis, who defeated Mullin 4-1. Cavanaugh won her second straight, double hill battle, defeating Gillis 5-3 (Gillis needing 4) and moved on to face Bernard.

Bernard stopped Cavanaugh's four-game winning streak with a 3-3 semifinal victory (Cavanaugh needing 5), earning a second, and as it turned out, a third chance against Mitchell. With Mitchell needing to reach 7 games, Bernard took the opening set 4-3. The 'goal posts' were moved closer for the final set; Mitchell, needing 6, and Bernard, needing only 3. They battled to the virtual 5-2 tie, before Mitchell prevailed to earn top honors.