What a difference a few months makes… If you’d asked anyone who last saw the Sockit Wenches win the season opener mini-tournament which team would be the favorite to win between them and the Throttle Rockets in March, smart money probably would be on last year’s champions in blue. But when one combines some roster changes, some injuries, and not-quite-quantifiable factor of a team gelling, it’d throw a wrench in the works for anyone who made predictions back in January.
Possibly in homage to their coach, the Wenches first drew blood with a quick 1-0 by X-Khan followed by a 5-0 by Juliet Bravo. However, in the next jam, new Throttle Rocket Eva Dead picked up 5-0, making it a one-point game. While one-point games are pretty common in the first few jams, this back-and-forth “anybody’s game” dynamic early on would be the tone for most of the bout. A 5-0 run by TR rookie Luna Negra in jam 6 (aided by a ferocious pack of blockers in Fighty Almighty, Hard Cora, IRockit, and Killah Kelly) made for the first lead change of the night at 16-11, TRs. The Sockit Wenches, of course, would have none of that, and sprightly Penny Racer made an 8-0 run while Clobberin’ Mame, Trouble Loves Mimi, Moe YaDown and Squirrel! kept the always slippery Eva Dead trapped. 19-16, Wenches. This, derby fans, was a Game.
As a testament to how much of a Game this bout had become, the TRs went on a 7-jam streak of getting lead jammer calls, but managed only an 18-8 run (third lead change in that run, by the way). Heavy defense was the story in the first half—multiple scoring passes were few and far between, and two or three point differentials were often the case.With the exception of Sirius Mischief’s 8-0 during this run, this was a game of teams eking out points when, where, and how they could get them. 34-28, TRs with less under 10 minutes in the period.
However, three points and a lead jam call for Wench Caddie Smack, soon followed by a 10-0 jam by Sevier (both jammers’ first times wearing the star for the night) was enough for a momentum shift and another lead change (four now), leaving it 42-37, Wenches at the half.
Coming out of the locker room, the Throttle Rockets went on a tear: a 16-0, three-jam run for the fifth lead change of the game. The Wenches responded with 7-0 in jam 4, but an 18-0 run by Luna Negra (who was on track, and got, a 100% lead-jam percentage for the night) gave the TRs the biggest lead either team had thus far that night at 71-49. Her veteran pack of Fighty, IRockit, Slutnik, and Valtron3000 was able to hold in the Wenches’ jammer and control the light pack, allowing for the biggest score of the game. It looked like the ladies in blue might make another run for it. A few jams after Luna’s big run-up, the Wench pack of Rebel Belle, X-Khan, Moe and Mimi helped jammer go-to girl Juliet Bravo rack up a 15-0 power jam to 74-65 with about 15minutes to go.
Apparently that was too close for comfort for the Throttle Rockets, who proceeded to turn on the afterburners. Except for another Bravo tour-de-force jam with both teams fielding light packs, the rest of the game was all TR, and they went on a 42-11 run—taking advantage of boxed Wench jammers and dominating the pack play—to win 116-76.
Both teams awarded MVP to their opponents’ most tenacious jammers: Throttle Rockets’ Eva Dead and Sockit Wenches’ Penny Racer.
The next home team matchups are at our May 14 bout. The Sockit Wenches play Grave Danger and the Throttle Rockets play Derby Liberation Front. In April, come see the Rat City All-Stars play the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls and the Rain of Terror face off against the Denver Roller Dolls’ Bruising Altitude. Tickets are available online now!