April 23rd was the second absolutely classic night of Foxz roller derby at Player’s Choice in Appleton in as many weeks, with the crowd sent home ((or to the Office sports bar)) happy after the Foxz’ Scream Puffz travel team earned their first-ever victory over their big sister league, the Brewcity Battlestars, and the Fox Cityz pickup b-team, the Whipping Screamz, weathered a scare at the hands of the Mid-State Sisters of Skate.
Fox Cityz Foxz Whipping Screamz 80, Mid-State Sisters of Skate 72
On an undercard bout that proved to be much more hotly contested than most expected, the Foxz Whipping Screamz a pickup b-team composed of half rookies, half non-travel team veterans held off the challenge of Stevens Point’s Mid-State Sisters of Skate, who were gracing Player’s Choice with their public bouting debut ((unless you count that event in the hotel ballroom a few weeks ago where they held a demo on a track the size of a Life Saver, and most of us don’t)). Far from being overcome with any manner of discernible stage fright, Natural Born Chaos of the visiting Sisters of Skate claimed the first lead jammer status of the evening, dashing out to a quick 4-0 lead for the visitors in the first jam. Any notion the Screamz might have had that Mid-State could be quickly and easily put in their place was dispelled in the second jam, when a major forearm penalty sent Screamz jammer Olive T. Cause Pain to the penalty box, allowing the Sisters’ Dani Rockets to rocket thru the Screams’ disorganized pack for a triple grand slam, and, just like that, the inexperienced Sisters of Skate were up 19-0 on the home team. Switchblade Hunni got the Screamz off the schneid with four points in the third jam, but this came at the expense of ten more points for the visitors, bumping their lead out to a stunning 25 points after only three jams. The Screamz, who had never actually practiced together as a team, began to pull themselves together a bit, tightening up their defense and holding Mid-State to a miserly four points over the course of the next six jams. Unfortunately, the Screamz’ offense was in the same deep freeze as that of the Sisters; as a result, they were only able to shave two points off their deficit over this span, leaving the score at 33-10 with ten jams in the books. The Screamz’ luck turned in the eleventh jam, however, when a major track cut sent Mid-State jammer Jan-Hell Razor to the box, allowing Screamz captain Dee Pravity to knock out a double grand slam, cutting the Mid-State lead to 33-20 with under two minutes to go in the half. With no lead jammer declared, the Sisters closed the period with a 9-6 flourish, and, at the break, Mid-State held the first halftime lead of their brand spankin’ new existence, 42-26.
Norma Leigh Sweet got the second half going in the right direction for the Screamz with a nifty 4-0 initial jam, and momentum swung solidly to the home team when Mid-State’s Dani Rockets was boxed for a major track cut in the second. In a complete reversal of the circumstances of the first period’s second jam, this time it was Olive T. Cause Pain benefiting from lack of opposition, bashing out a 12-0 run which put the game, the universe, and everything at dead even, 42-all, after two. Following a first half in which they only accrued three minutes’ worth of penalty time, Mid-State began to make up for lost time, quickly sending jammer Jane Gutzall to the box on another major track cut penalty for the team, and paving the way for an 8-0 Screamz jam for the Devil’s Reject, giving the home team their first lead of the bout, 50-42, after three. With Gutzall starting the fourth jam on a Fox Trap folding chair, Norma Leigh Sweet was able to throw down her second 4-0 jam of the period, and yet another jammer penalty in the fifth allowed Olive T. Cause Pain to rack up another ten points for the home team, staking the Screamz to a 64-45 lead after five. After three more jams ((and another Mid-State jammer penalty minute)), the Screamz found themselves up by thirty at 77-47. They had taken lead jammer status in seven of the period’s eight jams, held Mid-State scoreless for six of those eight jams, and outscored them 51-5 in the half. One might think that perhaps Mid-State — beat on hard and down big in the second half of their first-ever bout would be about ready to run up the white flag at this point and sort of dodder off into the sunset. Not quite. With under five minutes to go, a major back block sent Screamz jammer Olive T. Cause Pain to the sin bin. The sin bin apparently agreed with Olive, because, upon release, she immediately committed another major back block, returning whence she came with alarming rapidity. As fate would have it, Screamz blocker Roxxy Rage was also enjoying the creature comforts of the Fox Trap, courtesy of a fourth minor, and this merry course of events allowed Dani Rockets to cut the Screamz’ lead in half with a triple grand slam — with just over two minutes left in the ball game, it was now only 77-62, Screamz. Olive’s starting off the jam in the Fox Trap allowed Kayla Smash to knock out a quick 5-0 on the short-handed Screamz, and, horror of horrors, not only was the Screamz’ lead down to ten measly points, but the home team was also going to start the final jam with two blockers in the box, yielding a 4-2 pack advantage to the upstarts from Stevens Point. Needless to say, the potential for a Rocky-like comeback was immense but, in what might legitimately qualify as the play of the game, Screamz jammer Switchblade Hunni amazingly escaped the pack first, skated out the period clock, and called the jam, finally sealing the deal for the Whipping Screamz. Needless to say, if Mid-State can put up that kind of fight for their first bout, we can’t wait to see what they can do when they’re all grown up!
Mid-State’s Dani Rockets led all scorers with 39 points; Devil’s Reject paced the Screamz with 24.
Fox Cityz Foxz Scream Puffz 132, Brewcity Battlestars 81
In a fast-paced, fiercely-contested contest where almost a quarter of the jams ended scorelessly, it was a handful of big jams which ultimately led the Fox Cityz Foxz Scream Puffz to their first-ever victory over their big sister team, Milwaukee’s Brewcity Battlestars.
Dizzy Dame drew first blood for the Foxz with a quick 1-0 jam to start the bout; the score held up thru a scoreless second. The first big jam of the contest went the Battlestars’ way, with Sevo ringing up thirteen points whilst Slick Nikki of the Foxz languished in the penalty box courtesy of a major back block. With the Battlestars now leading 13-1 after three, the game settled into a rapid, tense groove in which, with a few exceptions, it would remain for the duration of the contest. More often than not, jammers exited the pack with only a few feet of separation between them, calling the jam almost immediately after hitting the pack. While the Foxz obtained lead jammer status twice as frequently as their vistors from the south, the speed of the Battlestars jammers on the open court often flustered the Foxz, forcing them to call the jam early. This violent nickel-and-diming continued practically unabated for the first twenty minutes of the period, with Sevo’s 13-point third and a 7-point seventh for the Foxz’ Monkey Shines constituting the only multi-scoring-pass jams therein. With the Battlestars up nine at 27-18, the Foxz’ first huge jam of the contest came when Sevo was sent to the Fox Trap on a major track cut, allowing Slick Nikki to repay the favor so graciously extended by Sevo in the third jam, and ringing up a huge 15-0 fifteenth jam that wrested the lead back to the Foxz, 33-27. The game returned to its normal pace, with the Battlestars slowly nibbling away at the Foxz lead. Clinging to a three-point advantage at 37-34, the Foxz busted out their second big jam of the night in the period’s 21st jam and this time, they didn’t need penalty help to do it. Behind the smothering defense of Punk ‘n’ Spice, Boun C. Ballz, Secretary of Skate and Tootzy RollHer, the Foxz absolutely shut down Battlestar jammer Candy Acid, trapping her behind a wall of white and pink while Foxz’ jammer Dizzy Dame shot thru the pack untouched for a triple grand slam. Adding insult to injury, when a frustrated Candy Acid passed the jammer star to her pivot, 10Acious-D, Scream Puffz co-captain Punk ‘n’ Spice sniffed out the play immediately, leveling 10Acious-D with a vicious hit that drew roars of approval from the crowd. When the dust had settled, the Foxz entered halftime with a seventeen-point lead, 52-35.
The game resumed its original character in the second half, with small momentum swings back and forth. Lady Pulverizer was able to bring the Battlestars within ten at 58-48 after four, but Dizzy Dame stretched the Puffz’ lead back to 67-48 in the fifth. Once again, Lady Pulverizer brought the Battlestars within six in the seventh, 67-61, but Dizzy Dame again stretched the Foxz’ lead out to double digits, 75-65, in the ninth. T-Lo got the Battlestars within six again in the eleventh, 75-69, but all hell broke loose in the twelfth, when the Foxz pulled off their third big jam. When the Battlestars lost their jammer and a blocker to the ravages of the sin bin, the Puffz roped a goat ((i.e., trapped an opposing skater behind them, allowing them to legally slow the speed of the pack down to roughly the speed of molasses on crutches walking uphill in January)), allowing jammer Lotta Issues to go off for her second 25-point jam in as many games. Suddenly, just past the midway point of the second period, the Puffz had broken the game wide open, establishing a 31 point lead on the Battlestars, 100-69. The teams went back to scratching out points here and there, but the Foxz put the game away for good with their fourth and final big jam, when captain Lolly PopYa took advantage of a major back block penalty on T-Lo to drop twenty unanswered points on the Battlestars in the period’s twentieth jam. The Puffz ended the game by taking their seventh lead jammer status in a row, earning a 132-81 victory over Brewcity’s B-team. The final score doesn’t really do justice to how closely contested this bout was; the Foxz scored 75 of their points in four huge jams, and only 57 points in the remaining 39.
Dizzy Dame led all scorers with 54 points; Lotta Issues scored all 25 of her points in one jam, but that was good enough to be the game’s second-highest scoring skater. Lady Pulverizer led the Battlestars with 21. Both the Scream Puffz and the Battlestars will be bouting in the Midwest BrewHaHa tournament in Milwaukee May 21st & 22nd, though they won’t be playing each other.