Archive Page

Ortiz opens 2024 NWPA season the way she closed the 2023 season, with an undefeated win

Molina Ortíz

It’s hard to figure how the Northwest Women’s Pool Association (NWPA) Tour can draw an average of 49 entrants over its last seven stops to sites that are in the vicinity of a geographic, west-east line that ends in Portland, ME. The tour opened its 2024 season last weekend (April 27-28) with a stop at Players Sports Bar in Kennewick, WA (pop., approx. 85,000) which drew 47 entrants. With its millions, the New York City Tri-State area’s regional pool tournaments (and there are quite a few of them) struggle at times to get entrant numbers into the 40s, of any gender, let alone women.

No pool tour competition, perhaps? The only game in town? Or maybe it’s something in the water of the Columbia River that flows along to the east of Kennewick? The tour does stop in Spokane and Seattle (Stops #5 and #6 this year), so there are those larger communities, but in any case, they appear to be doing something right out there.

So is Molina Ortiz, the NWPA’s 2023 Tour Champion; winner of five of its last seven stops, including an undefeated run in Kennewick this past weekend. She and Kathie MacDonald, the NWPA’s 2023 Player of the Year, winner of one 2023 event, and runner-up twice (once to Molina) battled in the hot seat this past weekend. Ortiz was challenged in the finals by Regene Lane, who made three appearances on the tour last year to finish at #13 in Player Standings.

In races to 6, Ortiz wasn’t scored upon in this season opener before the third round. Nobody chalked up more than three racks against her until MacDonald did so in the hot seat match. She got by Rita Chew and Sue Frisbie before Susan Andree broke through with two racks and in their first match, her eventual finals opponent, Regene Lane got three. It put Ortiz into a winners’ side semifinal against Dora Valdez. 

In the meantime, from the other end of the bracket, Kathie MacDonald was making her way to the hot seat match. Like Ortiz, nobody managed more than three racks against her until she ran into Ortiz in the winners’ side final. Andrea Turner started MacDonald off with three racks, Joy Pierson and Suzanne Smith got two before Linda Massey scored one, sending MacDonald to the other winners’ side semifinal versus Angela Higgins.

A total of 15 combined games sent Molina and MacDonald to the hot seat match. Molina sent Valdez to the loss side 6-2, as MacDonald was busy sending Higgins over 6-1. The two familiar foes squared off in the battle for the hot seat and fought an almost-double-hill match, won by Ortiz 6-4.

Higgins and Valdez showed up on the loss side and picked up Regene Lane and Melinda Hoffman, respectively. Hoffman had lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Higgins and won two straight, double-hill matches to Nicole Donisi and Linda Massey to face Valdez. Lane, following her loss to Ortiz, shut out both Robin Adams and Stephanie Drakulic (#3 in 2023 Member Standings) to draw Higgins. 

Lane got into the quarterfinals 5-1 over Higgins and presumably got to watch the result of the double-hill match waged between Valdez and Hoffman, which went on (according to a digitalpool time stamp) for about another hour. Valdez won it to join Lane in the quarterfinals.

Valdez put up a double-hill fight against Lane, but it was Lane advancing for a shot at MacDonald in the semifinals. Lane took care of business there with a 5-3 win, earning her a second shot against Ortiz. 

MacDonald and Lane each won 40% of the games they played in the hot seat match and finals, respectively. Ortiz won the other 60% both times, claiming the event title with a 9-6 win over Lane in the finals.

Tour representatives thanked the ownership and staff at Players Sports Bar, along with tour sponsor Littman Lights. The next stop on the NWPA, scheduled for the weekend of June 22-23, will be hosted by Golden Fleece in Everett, WA. 

Go to discussion...

Suzanne Smith Goes Undefeated in Final NWPA Stop

Kathie MacDonald, Suzanne Smith and Frances Tso

Northwest Women’s Pool Association final tour stop & 2022 awards banquet was held at Ox Billiards in Seattle, WA. Thank you to Ox for adding $1500 to this stop.

36 players came out to play on the beautiful 9ft Rassons. (Ox also features snooker and Chinese 8ball tables). 

2022 season player awards went to:

Player of the Year: Molina Ortíz
Rookie of the Year: Sue Frisbie
Most Improved: Robin Adams
Presidents Award: Anna Russo

Three-time tour stop winner Molina Ortíz of Portland, OR was knocked to the B-side in a strategically played game by Suzanne Smith of Edgewood, WA.

She was eventually knocked out by Ox regular Frances Tso with a tragic hill-hill 9ball scratch and finished 4th.

Frances Tso of Kirkland, WA had a great first NWPA tournament, finishing in 3rd place. Losing early to Suzanne 6-4, she ground out wins on the B-side, defeating Cindy Sliva, Robin Adams, Liz Cole, Katherine Robertson & Molina Ortíz before falling to Kathie MacDonald 6-3.

Kathie Macdonald of Abbotsford, BC played strong through the A-side but was defeated 6-4 by Suzanne Smith late in the bracket. After downing Frances Tso 6-3, she was back to face Suzanne in the finals, in a straight race to 9. The two battled back and forth keeping the race even until Suzanne pulled away two games in the 9th rack. A gutsy out by Kathie kept her afloat, but Suzanne fired in a 3-9 combo to reach the hill first. Kathie returned the favor with a 4-9 making it 6-8. However, Suzanne bore down and finished out the match 9-7.

Liz Cole (Portland, OR) & Cindy Sliva (Tacoma, WA) finished 5/6th. Katherine Robertson( Abbotsford, BC) /Jing Liu (Lynnwood, WA) finished 7/8th.

NWPA Tour will return next year, follow us on Facebook or visit and 2023 stops.

Added money sponsors:

Savage Billiard Apparel
All American Fire Protection
Century21 North Homes Realty
Plates Law Group
Ox Billiards
Ford Ford III
E&E Sports
Golden Fleece
Maxi’s Restaurant
Players Sports Bar Everett

Go to discussion...