Liquidating the competition

The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore area has been good to Rhino Page and Jodi Woessner, yesterday's winners of the men's and women's Lumber Liquidators Shark Championship at Country Club Lanes in Middle River.

Page, the top seed at the PBA Tour event, capitalized on some early mistakes by second seed Wes Malott in the final round for a 197-189 victory. Second seed Woessner rolled six consecutive strikes to open the championship round en route to a 247-189 victory over top seed Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. Both matches were nationally televised.

Page earned $25,000 for winning the championship; Woesser received $10,000.

Page made his television debut in Baltimore a year ago and broke the PBA's seven-game scoring record at the Lumber Liquidators championship, finishing fifth overall. Page won his second tour title yesterday and has found his rhythm to overcome an early-season slump that was the result of not using enough power. That, in turn, hurt his timing.

"I can't tell you how much confidence this brings to me," Page said. "Three weeks ago, my brain was in the pit. I had no confidence, and I was pounding my head in the wall. To come so far in the last couple of weeks, just shows hard work pays off. Just because I won doesn't mean I can let up now."

Malott entered the championship round against Page after an impressive showing against Parker Bohn III in the second match of the day. After getting a spare in the first frame, Malott rolled 11 consecutive strikes for a 290-204 victory.

That momentum did not carry over against Page as Malott left the two pin on the second frame and the 10 pin in the third to fall behind by 15. Page bowled steady throughout the round and never trailed.

"Anytime a guy has an open frame, especially when he misses a spare, you're thinking, 'I can really pound this on him and get a strike,' " Page said. "Unfortunately, I was not able to do it, but because he was down early, I still survived and made spares to stay in the game."

Woessner returned to the city where she won her first regional title 15 years ago. She started slowly in the tournament after finishing sixth in qualifying Thursday. She got better, though, as she played on.

In the title match, Woessner never allowed Dorin-Ballard any comfort. After bowling six consecutive strikes, she led 189-147 after the seventh frame.

"I just tried to make good shots, and I got lucky on a couple of them," Woessner said. "I just kept my arm-swing loose. Last month when I was on the show, I think I pressed too hard. This time, I just went out and bowled my game. I felt confident coming into the week."

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