Shea wins second straight on her own JPNEWT

Linda Shea is on something of a tear. After months, some might even suggest years, of remaining in the shadows of players she has watched come and go on her J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (she had not recorded a win on her tour since last September), Shea has put together back-to-back victories, coming from the one-loss side both times to do it, and leaped to the top of her own tour rankings.

On the weekend of June 25-26, she defeated three of the top women on the tour, in a row;  Megan Smith in the quarterfinals, Tina Meraglio (who'd sent her to the one-loss side) in the semifinals and Briana Miller in the finals. On the weekend of July 30-31, at a $500-added event that had drawn 18 entrants to Triple 9 Bar & Billiards in Elk Ridge, MD, she was once again sent to the one-loss side from among the winners' side final four, this time by My-Hanh Lac 7-4, and returned to defeat Lac in the finals.

Joining Lac in the battle for the hot seat was Shanna Lewis, who had defeated Nicole Nester in a double hill match. Lac shut Lewis out to gain the hot seat, and awaited Shea's return.

Shea moved over to face Kia Sidbury, who'd defeated Ji-Hyun Park in a double hill match and Pauline Mattes 7-4. Nester picked up Briana Miller, who'd defeated Lai Li 7-3, and Colleen Shoop 7-5. Shea and Miller advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-2 wins over Sidbury and Nester. Shea and Miller, who'd faced each other last time out in the hot seat and finals, squared off again; this time, again, with Shea coming out on top, 7-4.

Shea moved on to the semifinals to meet Lewis, and defeated her 7-3 for a second chance against Lac, and the bid for her second straight tour victory. In the modified race-to-9 format, Shea needed to reach seven games, ahead of Lac, in order to extend the match to nine games. She did so, and finished with a five-rack, 9-4 lead to capture the top prize.