Shanelle Lorraine Breaks Thru On The TFT

Stephanie Mitchell, Jeannie Seaver, Shanelle Lorraine and room own David Cintron
“First” was the theme on Saturday as 31 players came together after Hurricane Irma - the first Category 5 hurricane to hit Florida since 1992 - to compete at Tour Stop #5 on the Tiger Florida Tour.   This was the first TFT event and the first women’s event hosted by the brand new Shooters Billiards in Port St. Lucie.
Players competed on 9 ft’ shimmed Diamond tables that contributed to an extra long night for some. The TFT plays a modified, double elimination format, playing down to four on each side. The four on the one-loss redraw back into the winners’ side into a Final Board of 8, single elimination race to 7.
Early upsets saw Becky Yelvington send Stephanie Mitchell west 7-5, Katie Bowse handed Shanelle Lorraine her only loss 7-2, and Julia Spinella prevailed over Nicolle Cuellar 7-2. The four players from the winners’ side included Yelvington, Michell Monk, Jessica Human and Roe Guarnero. Making it to the Final Board of 8 from the one-loss side – Jeannie Seaver, Lorraine, Cuellar and Mitchell.  Mitchell drew Guarnero, winning 7-5; Cuellar won over Monk in another 7-5 match; Seaver matched up with Yelvington, ending Yelvington’s night 7-4; and Lorraine drew Human, taking the match 7-5.  That left Seaver versus Cuellar in the semi-finals, which ended in a 7-3 loss for Cuellar; and Mitchell losing to Lorraine on the hill 7-6.  
The final match came down to Seaver v. Lorraine.  Being in the semi-finals was Lorraine’s best finish ever.  However, it was unusually late so the two finalists agreed to a one-game sudden-death match for the win, points and title. People who know these two players would likely have put the odds on veteran player Seaver to win the game.  Seaver won the lag for the break. She made the one and the three-ball but didn’t have much of a shot afterwards as the cue ball stopped, tied up to the two ball.  Seaver played a safe, pushing the two into the side rail and sending the cue ball up and back down half the table. Lorraine tried to cross bank the two and the cue ball hit the nine, sending it straight to the same pocket as the two-ball and just when it looked like the nine might go in, it collided with the two, leaving the two in front of the side pocket. 
Seaver took the table back and proceeded to make the two in the side, getting shape for the four in the opposite corner pocket, then pocketing the five with a bridge in the opposite corner and leaving herself with a long shot on the six, which was on the rail back toward the opposite end of the table.  Seaver over-cut the six trying to get shape for the seven, knocking the six down to the end rail and then up to the other of end the table, but -- hiding the cue ball.  Lorraine was forced to kick at the six and kick she did – making the six in corner pocket. But now she didn’t have a good shot on the seven which was close to the long rail on the other side. Trying a thin back cut towards the opposite corner pocket, the cue ball hit the seven then went to the bottom rail and came back, hitting the seven as it was headed towards the pocket, and knocking the seven close to the side pocket.  
Seaver was back at the table again, always a dangerous situation to be in – Seaver at the table with only three balls left. She made the seven in the side, but didn’t quite get on the right side of the eight. Seaver was forced to make the eight in the same side pocket drawing the cue ball up and down table and with the cue ball resting almost center table for a spot shot on the nine in the corner pocket.  Seaver shot at the nine but overcut it, hitting the nine into the lower side rail and leaving it just off the bottom rail.  The cue ball ended up at the opposite end of the table.  Lorraine had little choice with so much space between the cue ball and the nine – play safe or go for the bank. After sizing up the shot, Lorraine aimed and made a perfect bank on the nine to win her first event on the Tiger Florida Tour!
Thanks to everyone who turned out for this event.  We also thank our title sponsor Tiger Products; and sponsors Great Lakes Billiards, Ulterior Chalkers, Boynton Billiards, AZ Billiards and Discount Mugs. Thank you to room owner David Cintron and his wife, Denise; room manager Joanne Colpitts (not pictured); Jeff and Cassie Howell, Treasure Coast APA League owners, and all the staff at Shooters Billiards for being great hosts!