Toennies double dips Mullens to take second-to-last BAAT stop

Tracey Mullen, Tour Director Stephanie Mitchell and Jamie Toennies

The points scramble is on. As the Florida-based Bay Area Amateur Tour wraps up its 2011 schedule, contenders for the year's top tour rankings are jockeying for position. In the second-to-last event of the year, a $340-added event that drew 17 entrants to Wally's in Lakeland, FL on Saturday, October 15, the first and second place standings were reversed; Kelly Cavanaugh, who finished third in the event, advanced to the top slot in the rankings, while Sabra MacArthur Beahn, who finished in the tie for seventh place, dropped into the second slot. Jamie Toennies, in the meantime, advanced from ninth to sixth place in those standings when she came from the one-loss side to meet and defeat hot seat occupant Tracey Mullen in a true double elimination final.

It was Cavanaugh and Mullen who squared off in the battle for the hot seat in this latest event; Cavanaugh having sent Toennies west 6-3, as Mullen was doing likewise to Chris Fields 5-4 (Fields needing to reach 6). Cavanaugh and Mullen fought back and forth to double hill before Mullen prevailed to gain the hot seat.

Toennies moved over to face Cassidy Mulligan (winner of the September stop on the tour), who'd survived two straight double hill matches versus Lisa McElroy and Cortney Bernard to reach her. Fields drew tour newcomer Terri Cockrell, who'd shut out Erikka Halbert (another newcomer) and ended MacArthur Beahn's day 3-4 (Beahn needing to reach 6). 

Fields and Toennies advanced to the quarterfinals in totally opposite ways; Fields with a shutout over Cockrell, Toennies in a double hill battle against Mulligan. Toennies moved on to a semifinal re-match against Cavanaugh with a 4-1 victory over Fields. With MacArthur Beahn's seventh place finish, Cavanaugh had already advanced to the top of the tour rankings, when she'd gotten as far as the hot seat. Toennies' 4-2 victory in the semifinal re-match didn't disturb that position, but it did improve her own standing, from ninth to sixth. 

Mullen, in the hot seat, and entering the tournament in possession of fifth place in the overall standings, could not be caught by Toennies, no matter what the outcome of the true double elimination final (both had not attended tour stops in March and May). The result, though, bore implications for the tour's Grand Finale, set for November 12, at Stroker's in Palm Harbor, FL. 

In a straight-up race to five, Toennies took the opening set 5-3. In the race-to-four second set, the two battled to double hill before Toennies prevailed to capture the event title. Had Mullen won, she'd have created 155 points of separation between herself and Toennies, going into the tour's final event in November. Toennies victory reduced that gap down to 85 points.

Tour representatives, quoted in a report on the BAAT tour stop in September, erroneously identified this most recent stop as the final 'points eligible' event for 2011 tour standings. In fact, eligible, tour-ranking points can and will be earned at the tour's Grand Finale in November.