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In one of the most anticipated bouts of April, the (23) Ohio Roller Girls defended their home track against the visiting (22) Steel City Steel Hurtin’ crew from Pittsburgh 246-162.  The bout was actually a lot closer than the score indicates, but Ohio was able to take full advantage of their power jam time.  While Ohio only enjoyed two more power jams than Steel City, they were able to outscore their visitors 171-65 with the jammer advantage. Steel Hurtin’ was hindered even before the start of the bout, as ‘Snot Rocket Science and Hurricane Heather were not rostered for the contest.

The bout started as Steel Hurtin’s Hard Times took the line against Ohio’s Phoenix Bunz.  Hard Times was sent to the penalty box for a high block and Bunz capitalized by scoring 20-0.  Hard Times was again boxed on the second jam for an illegal re-entry to the track and then an insubordination penalty for not leaving the track quickly enough, and  Ohio’s The Smacktivist tallied a 30-0 jam as a result.  Three jams later, Ohio’s Loraine Acid took advantage of a broken skate by Steel Hurtin’s jammer, The Crippler, and scored 40-0, taking Ohio to 92-2 only 9:00 into the bout.

Fifteen unanswered points by Ohio off of a star pass between Kitty Liquorbottom and Bratislava Bruiser set the score to 109-2.  Steel City seemed to regain composure as they outscored Ohio 24-0 over the next four jams, cutting Ohio’s lead to 109-26 with 13:15 remaining in the half.  Ohio’s The Smacktivist would secure a 15-0 over Leannibal Lecter and take the home team’s lead back to 98 points, 124-26, but it would be the last time Ohio scored a double-digit jam for the remainder of the period.

Steel City’s jammers really stepped up by securing lead status six of the final eight jams, outscoring Ohio 48-5 in the process.  Phenomenal pack play by Steel City’s Athena, Ally McKill, Bonecrusher, and REO Meanwagon held the high-power Ohio offense to those five points over the remaining 11:00.  At the half, Ohio’s lead had narrowed considerably to 129-74.

Steel City started the second period much like they left off during the first.  The Steel Hurtin’ crew quickly outscored Ohio 20-4 over the period’s first four jams, highlighted by a 13-0 by Leannibal Lecter.  During that time, Steel City’s Bonecrusher found herself at the front of the pack with jammer Phoenix Bunz right behind her.  Bonecrusher was able to go one-on-one with Bunz for nearly a lap and a half before finally getting pushed out of play, which enabled Lecter to pick up those 13 points.  On the following jam, Hard Times picked up her fourth penalty (multi-player block) and Ohio was able to put up another double-digit jam, this time an 18-0 by The Smacktivist that took Ohio’s lead to 151-94 with 21:00 remaining.

The next jam started with no jammer on the track with Hard Times was still serving her time and The Smacktivist earning a low block before calling the previous jam.  Once released, Hard Times quickly obtained lead and secured a 10-0 on her way to a team-high of 54 points.  Steel City’s Leannibal Lecter followed Hard Times’ shutout and scored 24-0 due to The Smacktivist being called for her second low block in as many jams.  With 17:30 remaining, Ohio held a narrowing 151-128 lead.

Sensing a bit of urgency, Ohio’s defense flexed its collective muscles and held Steel City to only three points over the next six jams.  Meanwhile, Ohio’s jammers took full advantage of two costly cut penalties to Steel City’s The Crippler.  Ohio’s Loraine Acid was able to score 25-0 on the first of those six jams.

Acid was followed Phoenix Bunz, who started with The Crippler still boxed, and with an Ohio 4-2 pack advantage.  Ohio implemented a passive offense strategy, and Phoenix Bunz made ten laps, scoring a 44-0 jam!  The 44-pointer puts Phoenix Bunz second on the all-time scoring list for a single jam in a sanctioned WFTDA bout.  She shares that distinction with Denver’s Sandrine Rangeon, who also scored 44 points in a single jam against Texas at the 2012 Championships.

Ohio’s defensive core of Bratislava Bruiser, Pippi RipYourStockings, Amy Spears, Kill Basa, and Ava Tarr continued to pester Steel City jammers even after the Hurtin’ returned to full strength.  With 8:45 remaining, Ohio remained ahead 230-131.  Hard Times was able to get points on the board by adding a 10-0 for Steel City, but was countered by The Smacktivist’s 14-0 on the following jam.  Points were hard to come by over the next three jams, as Ohio’s Bigg Rigg, Burnadeath, and OutaMy Wayman held Steel City to only one point.

Steel City’s pack of Stark Raven, Ada Bloodlace, and Lady Vengeance did one better by holding Ohio scoreless during that same time frame.  Ohio’s Loraine Acid was sent to the box for a back block with 1:00 remaining, which allowed Steel City’s Dakota Slamming to get one last surge before the final whistle.  Slamming scored an 18-0, but Ohio’s Kitty Liquorbottom was able to coast to victory after she obtained lead in the bout’s final jam.

As the final whistle blew, it was the Ohio Roller Girls claiming victory 246-162. The Ohio Roller Girls earned lead jammer eighteen times and found themselves on a power jam seven times.  Steel City earned lead twenty-one times and benefited from five Ohio jammer penalties.

Jamming for Ohio were:  The Smacktivist (4-14, 83 points), Phoenix Bunz (6-8, 73 points), Loraine Acid (1-6, 65 points), Kitty Liquorbottom (4-7, 16 points), Bratislava Bruiser (0-2, 5 points), and HellionBOI (1-3, 4 points).

Jamming for Steel City were:  Hard Times (8-14, 54 points), Leannibal Lecter (6-10, 51 points), Dakota Slamming (2-8, 33 points), The Crippler (5-7, 24 points), and Ally McKill (0-1, 0 points). Ohio will travel to Steel City for a rematch on August 10th.

Up next for Ohio is an April 26th bout at Richmond’s (75) River City, followed by a hangover bout in Baltimore against (12) Charm City.  Steel City will lace up their skates again on April 13th against D.C.

Photos by Dorn Byg, all rights reserved. See full set from the bout here.

Andrew Marron