Johnson defends LPBT Hammer title

October 10, 1991|By Jeff Fletcher

Tish Johnson was the champion of the LPBT Hammer Eastern Open when it started last Friday.

Now, 43 games and 9,958 pins later, nothing has changed.

Johnson, from Daly City, Calif., defended her 1990 title bbeating Dana Miller-Mackie, 187-174, in the championship game of the tournament last night at the Country Club Lanes.

Throughout the match, Johnson seemed relaxed. She smiledlaughed, looked around at the crowd.

"I'm a very hyper person when it comes to bowling," Johnsosaid. "I can't sit still."

This is compared with the other bowlers, who often looked likkids sitting outside the dentist's office.

"I see qualifying as the hardest thing for me," said Johnson, whtakes home $9,000 with the victory. "Then I can just go out and relax. Just play. Qualifying is so hard because there are so many talented bowlers out here. Someone can pop a 300 and leap right over you."

Johnson, who led the tournament throughout the 24-game, head-to-head round, was the top qualifier, which meant she had to play only one game last night and could finish no worse than second.

"It's the best thing to come in and know that you can't finish lower than second," said Johnson, who averaged 230.18 throughout the tournament. "I'll take $4,500 [the runner-up prize] to the bank any day."

But Johnson would not finish second.

Although she was only 2-5 against Miller-Mackie in her careershe was 1-1 against her in championships.

The win was in last year's LPBT Hammer Open.

But Johnson doesn't believe in statistics.

"What I do is try to play my game," she said. "I just felt if I staye with my game, I might prevail."

Johnson held this match most of the way. After leaving thsecond frame open, Johnson recorded strikes in five of the next seven frames.

Meantime, Miller-Mackie had no luck. The No. 7 pin seemed to bnailed to the lane. She left it standing four times from the sixth frame on.

"She got some bad breaks and couldn't carry, [and] then I gosome good breaks," Johnson said.

Johnson, who won her 14th championship of her career, is nosecond on the money list for 1991 with $37,740.

Game 1--Aleta Sill, Dearborn, Mich. ($2,500) def. Lorrie Nichols, Algonquin, Ill., ($2,100), 192-179. Game 2--Debbie McMullen, Denver, ($3,150) def. Aleta Sill, 240-235. Game 3--Dana Miller-Mackie, Albuquerque, N.M., ($4,500) def. Debbie McMullen, 226-201. Game 4--Tish Johnson, Panorama City, Calif. def. Dana Miller-Mackie, 187-174.

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