ADELPHI -- Dana Miller-Mackie, a deep thinker, overcame another case of the television jitters last night to win the Lady Fair Lanes Open.
"I started out really nervous," said Miller-Mackie. "You'd think would get over it after being out here so long [11 years]. It just seems like I can't control my emotions with all the quiet atmosphere surrounding the TV finals. Some of the other women have no problem with it."
Miller-Mackie said the only way she has been able to calm henerves is to pray and watch the second hand on her watch go around.
"The second hand is so peaceful as it goes around, and I prathat I can make good shots so I can't say I threw the match away," said Miller-Mackie, of Albuquerque, N.M.
Miller-Mackie, seeded second, turned back top-seeded Aleta Sill, in a championship match that came down to Miller-Mackie's final ball in the 10th frame.
Miller-Mackie needed seven pins on a spare in the 10th to winand she got nine to pick up the first-place prize money of $8,000.
Sill, who led Miller-Mackie by 374 pins after the fifth roundearned a second-place check of $4,000.
"It's so disappointing to lead by 300 or more pins and then havit taken away in one game," Sill said.
But once the five-person stepladder finals begin, every game isudden death, and it doesn't matter what a bowler did in qualifying and match play.
Even Miller-Mackie had sympathy for Sill last night ansuggested that the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour change the rules to help the top seed, who has to wait for the survivor of the first three matches.
"I think maybe they ought to give the top seed two games tbowl," said Miller-Mackie, 34. "I was talking to Earl Anthony [formerly an outstanding bowler on the men's tour], and he said the hardest thing to do is for the top seed to come in and bowl one game. He said the top seed only has a 35 percent chance to win."
But, with a little prompting, she said with a laugh, "I'll take thmoney and run."
It was the ninth career title for Miller-Mackie, who has been otelevised shows 29 times.
Miller-Mackie said her game has improved steadily over the pastwo years, since she gained 15 pounds after marrying Steve Mackie, a regional manager for AMF.
"The 15 pounds make me strong enough to muscle my wathrough sometimes," Miller-Mackie said . "The other women out here have been able to do that in the past, but I couldn't until now."
Miller-Mackie hooked up in the tight duel with Sill after beindown by 45 pins in the fifth frame against third-seeded Tish Johnson in Game 3 of the finals.
Miller-Mackie came back to defeat Johnson, 201-188.