TXRG Playoff Postgame

Hotrod Honeys and Hustlers head to July title bout

Texas Rollergirls championship, 2009: The Hotrod Honeys defeated the Hustlers. Now after last night's playoffs the 2010 title bout is set, and it's Hotrods/Hustlers again.

Going in, that wasn't set in stone. The Hustlers were tied 1-1 with last night's opponents, the Honky Tonk Heartbreakers. Yet the gingham-clad cowgirls had a hard time from first whistle (blown by special guest APD Chief Art "El Jefe" Acevedo). The Hustlers dominated for the first three jams, opening up with seven points and a grand slam from Babe Ruthless and a quick four-pointer from powerhouse jammer Molotov M. Pale.

The hammer really dropped in jam four of the first period: Heartbreaker's jammer Trick Pony got stuck in the box with two of her blockers. That gave Molotov all opportunity she needed: As her blockers ground the depleted pack to a halt, she shot through for seven grand slams and a potentially record-setting 35 points in a single jam.

That moment inspired the Heartbreakers to ramp up the challenge, but the 46-0 scoreline was just too much of a hill to climb. Didn't stop them trying, though. Rookie Short Cut made a strong case for player of the night, dancing around Hustlers and flying when she should have fallen, while The Angie Christ and Colt gave no quarter. Yet the high-impact blocking style of the Hustlers overcame the positional skills of the Heartbreakers, leaving the scrappers in purple with a final score of 94-28 and a place in the championship.

Knowing that they were already guaranteed a title defense, the pressure was arguably off for the Hotrods. However, the Hell Marys came into the night's second bout with the sole aim of playing giant killer and breaking the champ's multiyear unbroken winning streak. Both teams are heavy on jammers, with the Hells making out like bandits during the rookie draft. Yet the Hotrods quickly showed that experience counts for, if not everything, nine unanswered points in the first jam (courtesy of former Hell Mary Bloody Mary.)

While Hustlers had found their route to victory through sudden point explosions, the Hotrods took a more methodical approach, giving every player on the bench at least one trip to the track with the jammer's star. The Hells instead looked to their rookie jammers, but while Luce Bandit, DeBella and Tha Killa Sal Monella all brought the speed, the points didn't follow, leaving them trailing 3-49 with moments left on the clock in the first period.

It took veteran Hell Mary Kat A Killzem returning from the penalty box to really bring the heat. Her eight point jam before half time was only curtailed by a cunning helmet cover swap between Hotrods jammer Vargas Grrl and pivot Haus the Boss, but it seemed to put a little fire in her teammates' bellies. Trailing the Hotrods 11-49 when the second period started, they were hitting harder and jamming faster than they have all season. Unfortunately, with the point differential so far in the Hotrod's favor, even the Hells at their best (and they truly were at a season-best) were facing long odds.

The Hotrods are probably feeling the aftereffects of going up against the heavy hitters of the Hells' pack, but the points just stayed their way. Olivia Shootin' John's remarkable seven grand slam streak across the game (just pipped by Hustler Molotov's total for the night of eight) kept the Hotrods out of harm's way, finally pushing them to an 86-32 win.

So now it's a title rematch between last night's victors in July. The Hustlers get some rest before then, while the Hotrods hit the road for a travel bout against the Charm City Rollergirls, before Baltimore return the favor by sending their All-Stars south for a June 27 match against Austin's Texecutioners (tickets available now).

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WFTDA, Hustlers, Hotrod Honeys, Hell Marys, Honky Tonk Heartbreakers, Shank, Fearlys, Charm City All-Stars

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