RECAP – July 13th

TXRG Championships: Hustlers Upset Hells for 3rd; Heartbreakers Upset Hotrods for 1st

It was a night of thrills and spills at the Texas Rollergirls’ 2013 Championship—but it was also a night of upsets, as the 4th-seeded Hustlers took down the favored Hell Marys and the Heartbreakers secured a last-jam win over the undefeated Hotrod Honeys to take the title.

The Hustlers’ defense seemed to finally gel in this last bout of their season and their consistent ability to shut down key Hells’ jammer Babyface Assassin was a key factor in their victory; after a back-and-forth start to the game, they took the lead late in the first period and held it on their way to a 209-138 win and the third-place spot.

The championship game was a true nail-biter with multiple lead-changes—and ended in a tie. The Heartbreakers took the win in overtime, 204-199.

3rd place playoff: Hustlers Take Hells, 209-138

There was more than a little pride at stake as the Hustlers challenged the Hell Marys for third place in the 2013 season. The Hells faced major challenges this year following some big-name retirements after their charmed 2012 run to the Texas Rollergirls’ championship; the Hustlers haven’t won a game at home since taking the league crown in 2011. This bout was a rematch of April’s game, when the Hells took down the Hustlers 272-139 (http://www.texasrollergirls.org/2013/04/recap-april-13th/), but the final outcome was very different. The bout was close throughout, with the margin often in single digits, but the Hustlers opened it up to more than 50 points halfway through the second period and held on, despite stiff challenges from the Hells. At the final whistle, the team in purple had secured their first win at home since August 2011, skating out 209-183 victors.

The Hells took the first lead jammer call of the game, but it was the Hustlers who took the first lead on the scoreboard as the Killa Sal Monella put up three in the second jam. New Hell Mary Crotchie added two of her own to close the gap and the team in plaid had a big opportunity in the next jam as Fifi Nomenon landed in the penalty box with the purple star. In that power jam, Sinnerfold added 19-0 and called it off as Fifi returned to play.

The Hustlers’ defense locked down Babyface Assassin in the next jam, holding her on her initial pass as Sal ran for a natural grand slam; she escaped the pack as Sal went for a second scoring pass and in the end, the jam went 8-3 in the Hustlers’ favor. An official time-out then stopped the clock at 23:54 with the Hells holding a 24-11 lead.

When play resumed, the teams traded low-scoring jams but then the Hustlers defense seemed to gel, again holding Face on her initial pass as Sprawkett ran for a natural 15 points before Face escaped the pack—and added two more to bring the Hustlers into the lead, 32-30, with 10 minutes gone. Sal added a natural 5-0 of her own in the next jam—but Sinnerfold struck back with a crowd-pleasing apex jump for 4-0 in the next jam.

Penalties started to rack up for both teams about halfway through the period; Molotov M Pale benefited from a 3-2 pack advantage for a 4-0, but by the end of the jam, the pack advantage had shifted to the Hells as the Hustlers called a time-out. The margin was 10 points—48-38 with the Hells trailing—as the clock stopped at 13:59. Over the next three minutes, the Hells closed the gap and took a 1-point lead as Fifi Nomenon was sent to the sin bin for an out-of-play penalty.

With a 4-3 pack advantage, the Hells sent out Babyface for the ensuing power jam; she added 9 to bring the score to 62-52 at 8:15 left in the half—and the very next jam was a power jam for the Hustlers after Crotchie picked up a forearm penalty. The Killa Sal Monella added 20 unanswered points before Crotchie returned to play and called it off after adding a further 3. With six minutes left to play, the Hustlers held a 75-62 lead.

The teams traded low-scoring jams as the half ticked out, but the trend was all Hustlers as they extended their lead by 2 and 3 points at a time—but in the last jam of the period, the Hells had a big opportunity to even the score as Sal cut her way to the penalty box. Sinnerfold ran for points as the Hustlers hemorrhaged blockers, filling their penalty box. Sinnerfold had narrowed the margin to 88-82 by the time Sal returned to the box but couldn’t quite pull her team into the lead; as the jam, and the half, ended, the Hustlers held a 91-85 lead.

The Hells carried their momentum into the next period as Crotchie leapt out for lead jammer and the first points of the half—but then landed in the penalty box. The advantage was short-lived as Sprawkett cut her own way to the box—but Crotchie picked up a forearm penalty after both jammers had returned to the track … and the jam promptly expired. In the power jam that followed, the Hustlers sent out Sal who broke the century-mark for the Hustlers before Crotchie’s penalty expired.

The Hustlers extended their lead a little more in the next few jams but the Hells struck back in yet another power jam after Sal landed in the penalty box—and was joined by her blocker teammates. Babyface Assassin pushed the Hells into the lead as Sal returned to the track—but Sal put up four points of her own to leave the score tied at 122-all with 22 minutes to play.

The Hustlers squeaked back into the lead with a 2-0 run in the next jam and looked fleetingly to have a power jam on their hands as Sinnerfold left the track—but was motioned back onto the track. A couple jams later, though, they really did have that opportunity as the Hustlers forced a major track cut on Crotchie. Sal ran for 20 points before Crotchie stood in the penalty box, bringing the score to 161-126 in the Hustlers’ favour.

Fifi Nomenon took the star for the Hustlers in the next jam and benefited from a 4-3 pack advantage as she took a quick lead jammer status and converted it to a 3-0 score differential. The teams continued to swap lead jammer status and low-scoring jams over the next few minutes; with 10 minutes left to play in the period, the Hustlers held the biggest lead of the night, 185-138.

A couple minutes later, the Hells called their first time-out of the night, stopping the clock with just under 8 minutes to play as they trailed 146-196. When play resumed, the Hells lost jammer Notorious D.I.E to the penalty box—but the Hells blockers doubled down, at one point hitting Sal so hard the jammer cover popped off her head. She retrieved it, though, and brought the score to 201-146 in the Hustlers’ favor before calling off the jam as D.I.E stood in the box.

D.I.E returned to the track at the beginning of the next jam—and picked up a power jam of her own, adding 20 unanswered points before Hot Box’s penalty expired. When the jam concluded, the Hells had closed the gap to 171-204 with 3:30 to play—and called their second time-out to stop the clock there. That became a lengthy official time-out.

The Hustlers had two blockers seated in the box when play resumed and sent out Fifi Nomenon to jam against Crotchie. Some crowd-pleasing jammer-on-jammer action followed the whistle and Fifi was able to slow Crotchie’s progress into the pack—but with a 4-2 pack advantage, Crotchie’s path out of the pack was far faster than Fifi’s. She could only convert that to a 4-0, but in the next jam, Babyface Assassin had a better run, putting up a natural grand slam over Sal who was stifled on her initial pass. The crowd went wild when Sal picked up an illegal procedure penalty with less than a minute left on the clock—but some 20 seconds later, Face cut her way to the penalty box as well … and was sent straight back there when her time expired after illegally re-entering the track. When the clock expired, the Hustlers had picked up their first win of the season, 209-183.

Championship: Heartbreakers Upset Hotrods in Overtime to take 1st Place

The Hotrod Honeys came into this bout with an undefeated record but the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers weren’t ready to roll over just yet. The teams last met in April when the Hotrods took the win 204-118 (http://www.texasrollergirls.org/2013/04/recap-april-13th/) — and both teams were looking for a fourth championship title; the Heartbreakers took the crown in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and the Hotrods in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The Heartbreakers leapt out of the gates strong, racking up a 22-3 lead in the first five minutes, to the considerable and loudly expressed glee of a fan club that added glittery pompoms to their cowbells this match. However, the lead was by no means secure as the Hotrods hit back, closing the gap to 23-15 with seven minutes gone.

Low-scoring jams were very much the order of the first half of the first half, with rapid pack speeds limiting jammers’ opportunities to score—and with both teams quite evenly matched, the teams were content to pick up a safe single scoring pass and call off the jam before the opposing jammer reached the pack. Kitty Carnage picked up the first grand slam of the night with 10 minutes gone as her blockers held Hauss the Boss on a scoring pass—but again, Kitty called it off for 5-0 as Hauss escaped the pack. That left the score at 23-40 in the Heartbreakers’ favour with 19 minutes remaining in the half.

That pattern finally broke halfway through the period when Kitty Carnage landed in the penalty box following a low block. That left Olivia Shootin’ John unopposed with the Hotrods’ jammer star—always a dangerous situation. She took the Hotrods into a 50-44 lead before Kitty returned from the track and when the jam ended, the Hotrods held a 59-46 lead with just under 13 minutes left in the half.

The Heartbreakers struck back with an 8-0 run across two jams to make it a one-point game—but Hauss stretched the Hotrods’ margin back out with a massive apex jump that sent the crowd nuts. Bloody Mary followed that up with a second successive lead jammer call and a quick 3-0, and with 8 minutes left in the period, the Hotrods led 66-54.

The Heartbreakers picked up 5 points in the next jam and then had a massive opportunity as Artemischief found herself in the penalty box with the jammer star—alongside Olivia Shootin’ John as a blocker. The girls in gingham sent out Kitty Carnage to take advantage—but she cut the track on her second scoring pass as the score stood at 66-64 in the Hotrods’ favour, springing Artemischief. The Heartbreakers had also lost a string of blockers to the penalty box, giving Artemischief an easy run over a 4-2 pack. With five minutes left to play, the Hotrods led 81-66.

The next jam proved just how evenly matched these teams are—Hauss the Boss and Naeslayer broke the pack near-simultaneously, with Hauss edging ahead to take lead jammer status. They picked up their first four points simultaneously, too—then picked up near-simultaneous penalties, Nae first, for low blocking, then Hauss for a cut. With both jammers back on the track, OJ and Bloody Mary held Naeslayer long enough for Hauss to gain a quarter-track lead—but not long enough to stop her scoring 4-2 over Hauss on their last passes. At the conclusion of that jam, there were less than two minutes remaining on the clock and the Hotrods held a 91-78 lead.

The Hotrods closed out the period with a big jam for Artemischief as Heartbreakers’ jammer Barbie Got Back sat in the box with two of her blockers. Artemischief broke the Hotrods’ century mark handily, sending the Hotrods into the locker room with a 116-80 halftime lead.

Play resumed with full teams on the track—Naeslayer took the star for the Heartbreakers and Hauss for the Hotrods. This wasn’t a repeat of their match-up from before the half though—Hauss picked up a quick lead jammer call as Olympia held Nae at the front of the pack.

A 4-2 pack advantage smoothed the way for two Heartbreaker lead jammer calls in a row—and in the second, Naeslayer put up a natural grand slam and then a couple more points for good measure. In the next jam, Artemischief landed in the penalty box with the Hotrods’ star—and with a 4-2 pack advantage that grew to 4-1 at a couple of points, Kitty Carnage ran for an easy 10 points to break the century mark, 102-112 in the Hotrods’ favour. At that point, though, she picked up a major penalty of her own to free Artemischief. The jam was overall a wash, with the Hotrods holding a 130-102 lead.

It was then back to racing packs and low-scoring jams for the next ten minutes, with one exception—a power jam about ten minutes in, in which Artemischief struggled against a heavy, but stationary, Heartbreakers’ defense. Both teams struggled with blocker penalties but overall, the Hotrods had a roughly 2-1 scoring advantage, stretching their lead to 161-116 with 15 minutes left to play.

The Hotrods ran into severe blocker penalty trouble shortly thereafter, fielding just one or two blockers in two succeeding jams; that allowed Barbie Got Back and Naeslayer to bring the game back within the reach of a single power jam, with the Hotrods holding a 165-133 lead with 10:30 to play.

The team in black got all their blockers back in the next jam and picked up another two points—but lost two blockers at the same time, handing the Heartbreakers a 3-2 pack advantage going into the next jam. However, it didn’t slow their scoring—Hauss leapt out to a quick lead jammer and an as-quick grand slam as OJ and Olympia handled Barbie at the front of the pack.

In the next jam, again working with a pack disadvantage, Bloody Mary picked up lead jammer status and a grand slam over Naeslayer before going to jammer defense as Nae escaped the pack; she seemed content to burn time off the clock as the Hotrods held a near-50 point lead with 6:30 to play.

An official time-out was the inevitable result of the next jam—the Hotrods lost every blocker but one to the penalty box and, as Hauss was attempting to call off the jam, she was sent to the box as well.

The Heartbreakers sent out Flash Gorgeous unopposed against a 4-1 pack advantage—and as Flash made her initial pass, the Hotrods’ sole remaining blocker, Action Jackson, picked up a penalty of her own. The Heartbreakers lost a blocker of their own to the box but with so many Hotrods in line for the box, they maintained their pack advantage for the entire jam. Hauss struggled with heavy defense from Booty Queen and DeBella DeBall on her return from the box and when the jam expired, Flash had cut the Hotrods’ lead in half, leaving the score at 183-165 in the Hotrods’ favour with 3:40 to play.

Again, probably unsurprisingly, an official huddle ensued but play resumed quickly—the Heartbreakers held a 4-1 pack advantage and both teams had a jammer on the track … but not for long, as Bloody Mary committed a track cut and took the Hotrods’ jammer star to the penalty box. Utilising a 4-2 pack advantage, NaeSlayer picked up a quick 5-0 but working on her next pass, she was repeatedly cycled to the back of the pack by Voodoo Doll and Action Jackson. It was a three-point game, 183-180 in the Hotrods’ favour, by the time Bloody returned to the track—and Nae put up 3 to make the score a tie with 90 seconds left on the period clock.

Hauss the Boss took the Hotrods star in the next jam and picked up lead jammer status as Flash Gorgeous struggled with a front wall of Olympia and Maso Kiss. Hauss wasn’t able to make her scoring pass in the face of heavy defense from Headless Highness, though, and was forced to call the jam for 0-0 as Flash approached the pack.

The second-to-last jam of the game started with 41 seconds on the clock, the score tied at 183-all, and the Hotrods holding a 3-2 pack advantage; Flash Gorgeous jammed for the Heartbreakers and Bloody Mary for the Hotrods. Bloody Mary escaped the pack first but did not pick up lead jammer status—when Flash made it out of the pack and secured lead jammer status, she immediately called it off before Bloody could score, allowing the Heartbreakers’ coach to attempt to call their final time-out and secure an additional jam.

It turned out, though, that the Heartbreakers had no time-outs remaining and as a result, the game went to overtime—a full-length jam with no lead jammer awarded and points scored from the very first pass. As in the previous jam, the Hotrods held a 3-2 pack advantage; Hauss fought past a front wall of Desi Cration and Headless Highness to get out first but Barbie Got Back was hot on her heels. With four points apiece already accrued, the two jammers put up their second scoring passes near simultaneously, and their third … and fourth. When the jam clock expired, the scoreboard read 203-all—but it proved a scoring error, as Barbie had completed an additional lap which hadn’t been recorded correctly on the scoreboard. Following official clarification, the Heartbreakers were awarded the victory, 204-199, and their fourth Texas Rollergirls championship title.

Next bout

Tonight’s bouts conclude the home team season for 2013, but fear not—there’s more roller derby ahead! The last Texas Rollergirls bout of the year will occur on Saturday, August 10, when we play host to Houston Roller Derby—visiting to take on your Texecutioners—and Assassination City Roller Derby, who’ll meet the Firing Squad. Tickets are on sale now—get yours!

2 Comments

  1. ERNEST LEWIS
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Most enjoyable bout this season I was a visitor to Austin was treated really swell thanks for the great derby hospitatly !! you all are super thanks again…. snafu42

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