Johnson, Vidad undefeated at 2014 Senior Queens

USBC Senior Queens bracket

RENO, Nev. -
United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Paula Vidad of Sun City, Calif., each won three matches Tuesday at the USBC Senior Queens presented by Storm to remain undefeated in the double-elimination match-play bracket and guarantee themselves a spot in the stepladder finals.

The two will face off in a three-game match at the National Bowling Stadium on Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. EDT to determine who will be the top seed for the final round, which will be broadcast live on BowlTV on Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Johnson was able to maintain her flawless record with a dramatic win against defending Senior Queens champion and fellow hall of famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Fla., in a high-scoring rematch of the 2013 title tilt.

Johnson finished first and had a chance to shut out Sandelin, but after striking on the first shot of her final frame, Johnson left a 7-10 split and opened the door for her longtime friend and former Team USA teammate. After a spare, Sandelin could've locked up the match with a nine-count, but she left a 4-10 split on the fill ball for a 757 tie.

In the end, the match came down to a one-ball shootout, which Johnson won 10-9.

"I think we bring out the best in each other, and I figured the match might just come down to carry," said Johnson, who defeated Della Kallenback of Fairfield, Conn., and Carol Teel of The Villages, Fla., earlier in the day. "I like it that way, though, and I definitely bowl better when there's some pressure. I thought I was done after the 7-10 and had already put my stuff away. When we got to the roll-off, I just wanted to get it done quickly and put the pressure on her."

VidadPaula2011_250x140Vidad's win over USBC Hall of Famer Robin Romeo of Newhall, Calif., was close, but a little less dramatic, as she downed the 2012 Bowling's U.S. Senior Women's Open champion, 656-645. Vidad, the 2011 Senior Queens winner, also defeated Beth Owen-Cipielewski of Bradenton, Fla, and Penny Fentiman of Sweet Home, Ore., at the NBS on Tuesday.

Now in the elimination bracket, Romeo will take on Kristy Whitcher of Belfair, Wash., and Sandelin will meet 2010 Senior Queens champion Char Hammel of Las Vegas. The final elimination-bracket matches will take place Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. Eastern, and the two winners will earn the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds for the stepladder finals.

The player who survives the bracket to win the event will take home $3,500 of the $21,000 prize fund, which includes a $5,000 contribution by presenting sponsor Storm. The 2014 event started with 56 competitors, who all bowled 15 qualifying games before the field was cut to the top 16 for match play.

The Senior Queens, open to all female USBC members age 50 and older, marks the second stop of the Senior Women's Triple Crown Series presented by The Orleans. The Triple Crown Series is a special competition for bowlers who compete in the Senior Queens, National Golden Ladies Classic and Bowling's U.S. Senior Women's Open.

The top 10 players in the Triple Crown standings, which combines qualifying totals from all three events, will take part in the Triple Crown Shoot-Out presented by The Orleans.

The Triple Crown Shoot-Out will be held after the U.S. Senior Women's Open qualifying rounds July 24 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford, Ill.