Ouschan Claims Atlanta Classic

Jasmin Ouschan

The first semi-final match at the Atlanta Billiard Classic on Sunday was Kim Shaw vs Monica Webb. Shaw won the lag but had to surrender the table on the two ball. Webb then went through the rack until she hung the seven in the corner jaws and allowed Shaw the clean-up. The alternating break then brought Webb back to the table. Webb made the one on the break but the six, eight and nine ball were clustered near the foot spot, a problem that would need resolving. It would not be her's to resolve as she scratched when she made the four. With ball in hand Shaw played shape for a six-nine combo. But the nine was refused by the pocket and Webb had another opportunity. She got tough on the seven, having to cue over the nine ball, and ran into the nine seeking shape on the eight. The long cut was too much to ask but she left another nine footer for Shaw. The eight wound up deep in the jaws and Webb had no problem tying the match at one apiece.  

The third rack broke dry for Shaw. Webb swept the table for the win. She then broke and ran the next rack to lead 3-1. Kim Shaw then duplicated that feat to bring us up tight at 3-2. Webb then delivered our third break and run in a row and led 4-2. Shaw scratched on the next break. Webb cleared the cloth to increase her lead to 5-2 and own the break as well. She tried to play safe on the one ball but left Shaw a shot into the corner. The two ball was not available as it was blocked by the six from the corner pocket. She tried to bank into the opposite corner but fell short and the two ball rolled up on the rail, now behind the three. The combination attempt failed but the table was still not open.  Jacked up over the six ball, Shaw rattled the three in the corner. She made the three and the cue ball ran into the four that set up a four-nine combo. It went and Monica gained entrance to the hill.  

Shaw came up tough on the seven and needed a safe. But she let Webb see the full ball, although without a cut to be made. Her safety attempt was poor and Shaw ran out for the rack win. Webb broke leading 6-3. A back and forth rack found Shaw pocketing the nine and trailing 6-4. Shaw got as far as the three ball before her banking skills failed her and brought Webb out with nothing to try but a safety. Shaw went for the jump shot and left Webb a long cut, nearly a spot shot. Some safety play resulted in Shaw facing a bank on the eight ball. She eschewed that for a carom on the nine ball and when it dropped she had won three racks in a row to trail by one at 6-5. When Webb hung the five in the corner in the next rack Shaw had an opportunity but she came up tough on the eight ball and had to duck. She did that well and Webb kicked into the hit, leaving a long eight for Shaw. Shaw was up to that task and Webb's lead dissolved completely into a double-hill final rack. Shaw was on her way out when she dogged the four. Webb made that, the five, then the six and only needed to navigate the seven, eight and nine to win. She played the seven in the corner, the eight into the side and the nine into the corner for the win. Monica Webb would be in the finals.

The second semi-final featured Kelly Fisher vs Jasmin Ouschan. Two offensive power-houses each out for blood. Ouschan won the lag and opened with a safety after the break. Fisher returned the safe to no avail as Jasmin made the one-eight combination and then cleared the table for the opening lead. The next rack began with an extended exchange of safeties that ended in favor of Fisher after Ouschan took a flyer at a 2-9 combo. But Fisher dogged a four ball that hung in the corner and gave Ouschan the opportunity to stretch her lead to two. She took that opportunity home and had the break as well.

A dry break. Fisher launched into another round of safeties that she ended shortly after with a 1-2 combo. But the three ball eluded her. Jasmin made the three but hooked herself on the four and she was fortunate to kick into a safe. Fisher's kick was not so lucky, leaving Ouschan a clean shot that allowed her to finish the rack and lead by three to zip. Fisher finally found her first nine ball in the next rack to trail 3-1.  But Ouschan regained traction in rack five, won it, and led 4-1. Fisher was running out the next rack when the cue ball caught the nose of the side pocket and went across the table to scratch and leave Ouschan a two-ball out. In the next rack Ouschan seemed to lose focus on the three ball and missed it in the corner. Fisher could not find an easy layout. This one required a cross-corner bank on the five that failed and left an easy out. Ouschan strolled up to the hill.

The following rack, Fisher bore down. She made some very tough shots, tougher position plays, and pulled another bead to her side of the string. Still, she trailed 6-2. Her efforts proved to be too late in coming. Ouschan ran the next table to enter the finals 7-2.

The finals began with Monica Webb winning the lag. She followed that with a fortunate collision on the nine ball after she made the one that dribbled the nine into the corner for the win. Monica followed that up with a very nice run in the second rack to lead Jasmin 2-0. A red focusing light from a fan's camera caused Webb to dog the first shot of the next rack and Ouschan cashed the opportunity with a run of the table to narrow the score to 2-1. Ouschan appeared to have the next rack firmly in hand but missed a surprising six ball in the corner that left Webb with a three ball out. She made the long shot on the six, then missed the eight in the corner but the eight rolled up behind the nine and Ouschan was hooked. A poor safety attempt left Webb with the eight near the corner. She made that and the nine to lead 3-1. Webb made two balls on the next break but pushed out as she had no shot to open her campaign. She got the push-out handed back to her, made the shot and continued through the rack cleanly to take a now commanding 4-1 lead in the race to seven.

Ouschan needed to get some momentum going. She began by breaking and running the next rack to bring us to 4-2. But this is alternating break, a format that tends to hamper comebacks. Webb made two balls on the next snap but scratched on her first shot and Ouschan leapt from her chair to the table. She cleared the table to bring it close at 4-3. Ouschan played a good safe on the one ball in the next rack and Webb got a good roll that prevented an easy cut. Ouschan played safe again. Webb answered with a safe of her own and so it went. Safety followed by safety. Then Webb kicked into the one ball and it comboed the four into the side. Webb played another good safe on the three that left Ouschan nine feet away from the three and she missed the hit to give Webb ball in hand. Webb cleared up to lead 5-3. But Ouschan took the next rack and the race tightened up again to a one-game margin at 5-4. It got even tighter when she also pocketed the next nine and we were tied at 5 apiece. Webb played very well to break and run through a tough table and get to the hill first. 6-5 Webb.

The next rack began with safeties on the one ball. Both players sought an opening. That came when Webb went for a bank that missed and left Ouschan a shot on the one. She made that and ran through the rack to tie us on the hill.  Webb broke and made a ball but then missed her shot on the one ball. Ouschan missed it as well. Then Webb missed the one again but rolled up safe with the two as a blocker. Ouschan drove the two ball down to tie up the one and took an intentional foul. But Webb played a very creative masse safe and put Ouschan in danger of being on two fouls if she did not make the hit. She missed the kick and indeed was on two fouls. Webb decided to go for the out. It was the right decision but she missed the three ball and left Ouschan an out. Ouschan would not fail. She ran the table out and became the first Atlanta Classic Champion.