Cindy Coburn of Buffalo, N.Y., averaging 208 pins through 24 games of qualifying, heads the field in tonight's first round of match play in the Women's Professional Bowlers Association National Championships at Bowl America Shirley in Alexandria.

Coburn, 22 bowling in only her fifth professional tournament, led most of the way through the first two days of qualifying and finished her 24th game last night with a total pinfall of 5,000. Patty Ann of Arlington Heights, Ill., was the only other woman to average more than 200, rolling 203 over 24 games for a runner-up total of 4,880.

Patty Costello of Scranton, Pa., was third at 4,779 (199 average) and Donna Adamek of Monrovia, Calif., was fourth at 4,755 (198). Adamek, the top money earner and WPBA bowler of the year in 1978, defeated Coburn last week for the title in the Pabst Extra Light Open in Baltimore.

The field of 24, pared down from 67 in the qualifying rounds, will roll eight games of match play beginning at 8 tonight, with the winner of each game recieving 30 bonus points. There will be 16 additional games Friday, with the top five, based on total pinfall, advancing to Saturday's final round.