Hustlers come out on top in Texas Rollergirls’ opener

By Beck Wise, with additional reporting by Phil Arnold

Photos By Bill Smotrilla, Felicia Graham, Nadia Caffesse, and Steve DeMent!

YNN – News 8 Austin

In front of a record-breaking crowd on Sunday night, the Texas Rollergirls kicked off their 2011 season with a round-robin mini-tournament at the Austin Convention Center. Each of the four home teams faced the other three in a series of six 15-minute mini-bouts.

The Hustlers emerged as the champions of the night, winning all three of their games and ending the multiple-season winning streak of the three-time league champions, the Hotrod Honeys. The final score was 30-19, with the Hustlers’ victory clinched by back-to-back big jams for The Killa Sal Monella and Molotov M. Pale towards the end of the period (9 and 10 points). Hauss the Boss was the only successful jammer for the Honeys, putting her team on the board with 7 points in the second jam and gaining the remaining 12 in jam 5.

The closest competition for the Hustlers proved to be their closing game – and the last game of the night – against the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers. The Heartbreakers held the Hustlers scoreless for the first three jams until two successive 15-point jams for the ladies in purple provided the bulk of their score for the game. Sarah Hipel and Shortcut picked up points for the Heartbreakers, 13 and 12 respectively, for a final score of 34 for the Hustlers, 25 for the Heartbreakers.

The Hustlers also took on the Hell Marys in the evening’s opening game, cruising to a 41-7 victory. The bulk of jamming duties for the Hells were picked up by new faces, including recent transfers Smarty Pants (moving from Austin’s banked track league, the Lonestar Rollergirls) and BabyFace Assassin (from Houston), as well as rec league graduate Sinnerfold. In the pack, Luce Bandit and Muffin Tumble stood out as offensive players for the Hells, as did Hustler Bullet Tooth Tracy in her first bout back from retirement.

The Hotrod Honeys look set for another strong year, laying down the biggest margin of the night in a 66-16 matchup against the Hell Marys. Misti Molotov and Hauss the Boss led scoring for the Honeys, with 25 points over three jams apiece, with captain Shank and rookie Maso Kiss picking up the remainder of the team’s points. Misti picked up the biggest point score of the night in the final jam of this game, rolling away with 23-4 over BabyFace Assassin. BabyFace picked up 7 points overall for the Hells, followed by Luce Bandit and Sinnerfold with 4 each. Windy City transfer The Notorious D.I.E and Smarty Pants landed critical blocks playing in the pack for the Hells.

The Honeys also laid down a convincing win over the Heartbreakers, finishing up with a 44-17 victory, but the Heartbreakers were able to hold the Honeys scoreless for the first two jams. A 10 point jam by Shank backed up by a 14 point one by Hauss the Boss – the league’s high scorer for the night – put the black-and-pink team on the board and squarely in the lead.  Sarah Hipel was the key jammer for the Heartbreakers, putting up 10 of her team’s 17 points. The Heartbreakers’ defence was spearheaded by Rita Menweep, DeBella DeBall and Booty Queen, while Olympia and Olivia Shootin’ John stood out in the pack for the Honeys.

The biggest nail biter of the night, though, was the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers’ matchup with Hell Marys. Two lead changes and a flurry of last-minute big jams for both teams brought the audience to the edges of their seats, as the game’s outcome was decided in the very last jam. With just a few seconds remaining on the clock and the score standing at 39 for the Heartbreakers to the Hell’s 26, Luce Bandit took the jam line for the Hells against Rita Menweep. Heavy defence by the Hells stymied Rita, who picked up two points before passing the star to Tamityville Horror, who added another two points to the Heartbreakers’ total. Luce ran for a big 14 point jam but needed one more lap to bring the Hells into the lead – the game ended with a score of 43 for the Heartbreakers, 40 for the Hell Marys.
The round-robin games do not count for season rankings, so the teams will kick off their quest for the championship on March 27, when the Hotrod Honeys and the Hustlers meet in a repeat of the 2010 season final and the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers take on the Hell Marys.

We can’t wait to have you join us for next month’s super-exciting game. We’ve heard your concerns about Sunday’s teething problems and promise that in March we’ll address them all. We’ll have shorter, faster lines to get into the hall, more bars, Lonestar beer (and lots of it!), a bigger and better section for our valued VIP ticketholders, plus even more thrilling and hard-hitting derby action to keep you on the edge of your seat.

And above all else – thank you for coming out and supporting us in our first game in our great new home! We couldn’t have made it to the Convention Center without our fans and we’re so thrilled to be sharing our 2011 season with you.

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