Anne Marie Duggan finished the day where she started it, in first place in the LPBT Eastern Open at Baltimore's Country Club Lanes. But it wasn't easy for the 1994 Player of the Year.
Entering the final eight games of match play, she trailed Carol Norman by 130 pins and was 56 pins out of fifth place. The top five finishers qualified for the stepladder finals.
But by winning seven of her eight matches, Duggan earned the top spot and will bowl one match for the title tonight.
"I just had to go out there and concentrate. The next thing I knew I was in first place," Duggan said. "When it rains, it pours."
It rained all over Norman's day in the spotlight. The 13-year veteran is having one of her best seasons on the tour after taking time off last year. She found herself with an unwelcome night off when her huge lead evaporated and she was eliminated from the finals.
Norman needed strikes on her final three throws to make it to tonight's match, but her second shot left three pins standing.
Duggan hopes she can carry the momentum she had in last night's final round into tonight's match. She was in the lead last year and lost in the finals to Carol Gianotti. Gianotti failed to make the cut this year, but did roll the tournament's only perfect game.
"It's really hard to go out there in one game," Duggan said. "I just hope to get off to a good start."
If it's anything like her finish, she'll be in good shape.
Norman, who ran a vending operation during a brief retirement in 1994, returned to the women's tour last fall -- with a new attitude.
"I've calmed down a lot," Norman said. "I want to enjoy it more. I'm not here because I have to be."
Two years ago, it was not uncommon to see 'Stormin Norman' angry when the pins weren't dropping. She would stomp around and sulk.
"She's much more care-free. If she misses a cut, she's not so terribly upset," said fellow bowler Jeanne Naccarato.