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Cole wins Stop # 3 on NWPA tour, Locati qualifies for Ultimate 10-Ball Championship

Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)

Liz Cole went undefeated to win the third stop on the Northwest Women's Pool Association Tour, held on the weekend of May 18-19. The victory also qualified the winner for the Ultimate 10-Ball Championships in Tunica, MS next month, but because Cole was already qualified, that slot went to Shelby Locati, who'd won three on the loss side to meet her in the finals. The $1,000-added event drew 23 entrants to Ballad Town Billiards in Forest Grove, OR, with selected matches streamed live by Rail2Rail Productions via Ustream.

 
Cole opened her five-match winning campaign by giving up only two racks in her first two matches; one each to Stacy Eilts and Mary Hopkin. Then, among the winners' side final four, she met up with Tamre Rogers, who battled her to double hill, before giving way. Joining Cole in the hot seat match was Suzanne Smith, who'd gotten by Rebecca Slyter, Robin Adams, and Sharon Bledsoe, before meeting and defeating Locati in the other winners' side semifinal 6-3. Cole moved into the hot seat with a 6-2 win over Smith and waited for what turned out to be the return of Locati.
 
Locati moved west and picked up Hopkin, who'd defeated Alisha Rogers and Cristy Barsky, both 6-4. Rogers drew Andrena Brown, who'd defeated Tammy Holcomb 6-2 and shut out Elaine Eberly. Rogers eliminated Brown 6-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Locati, who just did survive a double hill match against Hopkin. Locati picked up her second straight, double hill win, ending Rogers' bid in the quarterfinals, and then shut out Smith in the semifinals.
 
In the single race-to-9 finals that followed, Cole and Locati traded racks back and forth, right from the start. They did so right through to double hill. Knotted at seven games apiece, Cole missed an easy shot on the 9-ball, and Locati reached the hill first. Cole missed an easy shot on the 4-ball in the next rack, but Locati couldn't take advantage. Cole finished to knot things at double hill and then won the final game to claim the event title.