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      June 08, 2001:

-Tish Johnson Wins No. 24 At $50,000 Wheelchair Awareness Classic

06/08/2001 - PWBA
      MESA, Ariz. - Tish Johnson picked up career title No. 24 and edged closer to the million-dollar mark in career earnings by running away and hiding from Kim Adler, 210-150, in the title bout of the $50,000 Wheelchair Awareness Classic at Country Club Bowl.

      Johnson, Northridge, Calif., began the match with five strikes before a 3-7-9 split stopped her in the sixth frame; but Adler, Cocoa, Fla., was unable to muster any firepower at all, even after Johnson stumbled with another open in the eighth. The doomed Floridian started off with a 4-9 split that she failed to convert and eventually had four open frames-three of them splits- with just one offsetting double. That made her easy pickings for Johnson, who had bypassed her in the previous day's position-round match to become tournament leader.

      "I knew I'd have to start out strong against Kim after seeing her in the semifinal match against Lisa [Bishop, whom Adler defeated 248-236]," Johnson said. "But then I saw her start to fish around for a line after the fourth frame, and that's when I knew the match was going to be mine."

      Adler confessed that she got caught in lane oil transition from one game to the next. "The lanes definitely changed on me. I don't feel like I lost because I missed my spares, but because the lane condition changed and I simply ran out of time to figure it out," she said. "I finally did solve the puzzle on my fill ball in the 10th frame, when I struck; so now I know what to do the next time I encounter this."

      Johnson's $9,000 first prize moved her career earnings to $994,340, and she credited the ease of her victory to the lane transition that baffled Adler. "I like bowling when some of the oil has been taken off the lane, because then I can really get my hand into the shot and let it rip," she admitted. "The closer I get the ball to the gutter, the better off I am."

      Johnson's 24th victory came in her 199th consecutive professional tournament. The popular California star said she's looking forward not only to surpassing the record of 200 consecutive tournaments held by Jan Schmidt, Rochelle, Ill., but also to pushing the record as high as she can to solidify her position as one of the game's all-time stars. "I want to compete for as long as I can, and as long as my knees hold out," she said after rolling one of the tournament's three 300 games earlier in the week. "I'm a competitor. I set high goals for myself and have contributed a lot to this sport. When I retire, I want people 20 years later to remember me and what I did."

      Belleville, Mich.'s Bishop earned the right to go against Adler in the semifinal game by defeating Leanne Barrette, Pleasanton, Calif., and Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla., in the opening shootout match, 223-187-169. Adler took home $4,800 for finishing second, while Bishop was rewarded with $3,000; Barrette with $2,500; and Duggan with $2,200.

Championship-round Results And Earnings:
    1. Tish Johnson, Northridge, Calif., 210 -1 game- $9,000
    2. Kim Adler, Cocoa, Fla., 398 -2 games- $4,800
    3. Lisa Bishop, Belleville, Mich., 459 -2 games- $3,000
    4. Leanne Barrette, Pleasanton, Calif., 187 -1 game- $2,500
    5. Anne Marie Duggan, Edmond, Okla., 169 -1 game- $2,200

Playoff Results: Bishop def. Barrette and Duggan, 223-187-169; Adler def. Bishop, 248-236; Johnson def. Adler, 210-150.

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