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#7 Charm City Falls To #1 Gotham, Beats Back #15 Pikes Peak

BALTIMORE, MD -- In the last of three all-star doubleheaders to open their 2009 season, #7 Charm City couldn't stop #1 Gotham from notching a 14th straight victory, but did manage to come closer to them than the great majority of their recent opponents, going down 120-72 in a high-intensity battle. Though the loss to Gotham broke a 7 game winning streak for the hometown girls, Charm City started a new one about 90 minutes later, pulling away in the second half of the second bout to put up a solid win over #15 Pikes Peak, 148-111.

Read the play-by-play in the archived text boutcast, and watch the full bout in archived video, courtesy of Tuffnerd Productions. Live coverage of these bouts was sponsored by Sin City Skates.

Gotham 120, Charm City 72

The ladies from the Big Apple entered the opening contest with top-shelf jammer Suzy Hotrod off the roster, but they also were without possibly the most notorious blocker in the sport, as Beyonslay was in attendance and suited up but a last-second scratch from the skating roster, replaced with first-time All-Star Papierschnitt.

Charm City was bitten by jammer penalties off the jump, as leadoff jammer Flo Shizzle found herself ending both the first and second jams in the penalty box, although Charm was able to hold Gotham to a relatively low 13 points over the course of the three power jams. The hometown crowd got a chance to explode on the fourth jam of the night, as first-year rookie Just Carol managed to navigate a 4-2 pack in favor of Gotham to nab lead and a 4-0 win over Fisti Cuffs. Carol took one jam off and was right back in the sixth jam to one-up herself with a 5-0 over Barbara Ambush, making the score Gotham 16, Charm City 9 about ten minutes into the bout.

The teams traded punches for the middle third of the half, leaving it Gotham 24, Charm City 19 with about 12 minutes left to play to the intermission, but as they did so often during the 2008 tournaments, Gotham went on a big scoring run that quickly changed the bout from narrow to lopsided. This time, they rattled off 34 unanswered points over the course of 5 jams, keyed again by jammer penalties on Charm City -- an 11-0 run for Bonnie Thunders over a boxed Bambi's Revenge, and a 13-0 for Fisti Cuffs over a boxed Rosie the Rioter.

With the score 58-19 and 3:20 left in the half, Charm City's Joy Collision managed to excite the crowd with a 5-0 grand slam over Fisti Cuffs, but Gotham's Bonnie Thunders was back on the jam line to erase that momentum with a 11-0 over Bambi's Revenge to close the half's action at 69-24 in favor of Gotham -- a 45-5 run in the final twelve minutes of the first half.

The halftime break, though, seemed to pay dividends to Baltimore, who made adjustments that made the final 30 minutes much more evenly matched.

Charm City took or tied the first five jams of the half and put together 12 points to nickel-and-dime the score to Gotham 69, Charm City 36, but Gotham struck back harder, with a 4-2 for Barbara Ambush followed by a 10-0 for Bonnie Thunders.

Charm would suffer a particularly tough break on the next jam, where Charm's Joy Collision managed to defy the odds by taking lead jammer on a 4-2 Gotham pack ... but when she came flying around for her scoring pass, she attempted to make a lateral leap around teammate Lady Quebeaum just as LQ tried to get out of her way in the same direction. Both skaters hit the deck hard and by the time Joy got the jam called off, opposing jammer Fisti Cuffs had managed to pass one of the Charm City blockers to pick up a 3-0.

Gotham pulled out a very situational strategy a couple of jams later on the second of two consecutive jammerless jam resets that demonstrated their minute attention to detail. Their jammer Sweet Sherry Pie was sent to the penalty box very soon after Charm's jammer Just Carol had already taken up residence. Rather than going right to the box, though, Pie took an extra lap around the track so that the previous jam's jammer, Fisti Cuffs, could get back out of the box and get the jammer star back -- and it paid off as Fisti got a 4-0 on the reset, making it 90-42 Gotham with just under 15 minutes to play.

The lead became its largest at 61 points -- Gotham 114, Charm City 53 -- with six and a half minutes to play, but Charm took advantage of rare Gotham jammer penalties to close it a bit in the final moments. Gotham jammer Fisti Cuffs plowed over Charm blocker Dolly Rocket for a back-block major that left Charm's Lady Quebeaum open for a 9-0 run, soon followed by a 10-0 run for Just Carol over a boxed Barbara Ambush in a jam that'd be called early for injury when Gotham blocker Hela Skelter took a hard spill in front of the Gotham bench and needed help from the EMTs.

But on the last jam, Gotham jammer Bonnie Thunders took a 4-0 that once again demonstrated Gotham's impressive situational awareness -- Bonnie took lead and a scoring pass, and then just played jammer defense on opposing number Duchess of Torque with an eye on the period clock till it hit 0:00, at which point she immediately called it and ended the bout at Gotham 120, Charm City 72.

Though they could not narrow the gap, Charm City hung right with the champs for the final 30 minutes in a half that ended by the much narrower margin of 51-48 for Gotham.

Charm City 148, Pikes Peak 111

The second bout of the doubleheader was a bit more disorderly than the first in both pack cohesion and penalties, with both teams spending significantly more time in the box than in the first bout and more than a few laps in which multiple skaters would get whistled off for 20+ foot engagement. After a closely contested first half, though, the Baltimore girls asserted control and sent their fans home happy with a win to close the night.

Those fans might have  experienced a bit of deja vu as the bout opened, as once again leadoff jammer Flo Shizzle hit the box in the first jam. But that opening jam proved to be a microcosm of the bout in its chaotic nature: opposing jammer EckoGirl passed the star to pivot Psychobabble, Psycho would hit the penalty box herself after a scoring pass, and there would be a quick score correction as Flo returned from the penalty box at the very end and got through the pack on what was determined to still be her opening pass.

The chaos staked Pikes Peak to a 7-0 lead to start, and the second jam also saw a jammer switch in the box, as Duchess of Torque started unopposed against a boxed Psychobabble but went to the box after one full scoring pass. Jam three saw the exact opposite, as Pikes Peak had jammer Kamilla Bloodspilla on the line alone, only to lose her to the box just as Duchess came back.

After all the power-jam tradeoffs, Pikes still had a 16-15 lead -- at which point Dolly Rocket, jamming for the first time on the night, equalled Pikes Peak's score on a 16-0 four-lap run, making it 31-16 for Charm City -- Baltimore's first lead of a long night.  

But it seemed for a moment that Dolly's explosion would be an anomaly in a night that was going Pikes Peak's way.  In the ensuing five jams, Pikes took lead four times and constructed a sobering 24-1 run that put the visitors back ahead 40-32 with 14 minutes to play in the half.

Charm City called timeout at this point to reassess, and it seemed to be well timed -- they were able to get the offense producing again, and finally pulled ahead 57-52 with 3:30 left in the half on the back of a 10-1 jam for Lady Quebeaum in a 4-2 power jam situation.

They wouldn't relinquish the lead after that, but it remained narrow for a little while longer. A couple of jams later, first-half (or third-half, depending on where one was counting from) action closed at 68-57 for Charm City.

Four jams deep into the second half, Charm City's lead remained at about the same margin at 82-74, but an enormous power jam played to situational perfection by Charm City blew the game open. Rookie phenom Just Carol, building on her impressive performance against Gotham, dodged and weaved her way to the biggest jam of the night, a 23-0 spot facilitated by the Charm pack slowing the pack to a crawl while opposing jammer DeRanged hit the box twice in the same jam.

With the score 105-74, there was a palpable momentum shift at that moment -- especially as DeRanged, stuck in the box with two Pikes blockers to keep her company, had suffered a broken skate on her way to the penalty box. Pikes was granted a minute-long officials' timeout to handle the skate trouble, which Charm City put to use by loosening up with a minute-long dance party on the track.

From that moment out, continued penalty trouble on the part of Pikes Peak and what appeared to be considerably greater confidence on the part of Charm City kept the margin just a few jams out of striking distance for the remainder. Charm's lead grew to as large as 142-88 with 8 minutes to play, and although Pikes made a late 23-6 run in the final few jams, they couldn't crawl out of the hole started by Just Carol's epic 23-pointer.  

For Charm City, the doubleheader marked the last of three back-to-back all-star outings at home, and they now take the show mostly on the road for the rest of 2009, with their next matchup against perennial Eastern powerhouse #6 Carolina on May 16. Gotham's next all-star bout will also be against Carolina, on June 6. As for Pikes Peak, they'll head back to the West to take a shot at wunderkinds #10 Oly on May 24.

Photos: Craig Lammes (Charm City / Gotham), LizzardsDad (Charm City / Pikes Peak)
Additional reporting: Slack Kerowhack, Mercy Less, Frenzy Lohan

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woohoo!

On that forth jam in the Gotham bout: It just goes to show you that all you really need for a pack is Dolly Rocket and Joy Collision.

As for the Pikes Peak bout, it was nice to see Dolly jam again. She's such a great pivot that she never jams anymore. In general though, that bout was more about strategy: controlling the formation and speed of the pack, than it was about great jamming IMHO.

well i hope

that me and the other members of the team make some sort of difference in the pack, or else all those long hours of practice and doubleheaders were a waste :O

Holly Gohardly
Charm City Roller Girls

If it makes you feel any better

I have a big painful bruise on my hip from you :) Probably the hardest if not effective block I got all night (totally off my feet, totally landed on one part of the hip real hard), yes Dolly also hit me many many many times. At some point I was like man I am a glutton for punishment :D

Great game ladies, and awesome afterparty, it was nice meeting you all. I have to say I was shocked at how much Baltimore has changed since I moved to NY, then again it is like 9 yrs ago :D

Crabcakes were excellent :d

there is no "i" in team

Not to down play the amazing abilities of Joy and Dolly, but roller derby is a team sport. There were many Charm City girls who were a force in the pack, not just one or two.

I think Simonator was referring to a specific jam

Jam 4. If memory serves, it was a full Gotham pack vs Joy and Dolly (with the other CCRG blockers in the box) and they managed to get Carol a 4-0. Usually a 4-2 pack in favor of Gotham is VERY VERY BAD NEWS for the opponent :)

JFM

facetious : adj. from the latin feces, meaning full of shit.

And of course I wasn't being entirely serious, but that jam was AMAZING DERBY.

Sir... Sir... SIR! I must correct the Internets. They be wrong.

Facetious comes from the Latin facetus, which means "witty" or "funny", by way of French. Your etymology is one number two too many for me to take sitting down.

- bjmacke (a.k.a. Apron)

irony, though

because, see, his definition was full of shit, and... wait, is that irony? I'm so gen x I can't even tell any more.

Can I just say .... WOW!!!!!!

This bout was amazing! Totally exciting and, even though its sad that Charm City lost, I am happy to have been there and seen it. Balls to the wall derby. I am still hoarse! great pics, BTW...

But justice!

Are you implying that my excitable cheers from the bench had a less tangible impact on Gotham than dolly and joy's blocks? Whatevs.

But in seriousness, you can ask rose city about the game ccrg brings to the table with a "dolly and joy can do it" mentality. Perhaps more than anything else I am proud that Gotham faced a team that INCLUDED two widely recognized best players in the sport as part of a damn fine team of impressive women.

Now if we could just train a great jammer instead of just carol. If only she was special. Then jam 4 would really have been something. From now on let's refer to this one specific change of momentum as "Just Jam 4" (starring Joy Collision and Dolly Rocket).

Chin up carol! We'll recognize you when you do something cool. like break open the scoreboard against the number 1 team in the nation :)

Best kept secrets

Reckless,

Purrhaps it's best to just keep everyone else on the team secret.
There is no Carol, only Zuul!

( '_')= (,,,)

Chairman Meow
Charm City Roller Girls
Baltimore, MD

Wow

Derbiriffic.

Thank you Charm City for

Thank you Charm City for hosting us. Both teams played really strong games. There's a good probability we'll see each other again this year during tournament season. East Coast roller derby is looking fantastic.

East Coast Derby

East coast derby certainly IS looking fantastic. Damn. The top 5 in the East (WFTDA & DNN) are in the top 8 (DNN). I've skated against CCRG (practice), CRG and BDD in the last three weeks and WOW.. that's really all I can say. And of course, we all know what Gotham is capable of.. especially PRG. It's unfortunate that we might not all make it out of our regional tournament to nationals, but I will say the uber-competitveness of our region will make us that much stronger as individual skaters and as teams. Watch out North Central, South Central and West Coast! Oh no.. did I start shit-talking already.. and it's only April? Whatevs.. EAST COAST! Hehe..

Mo Pain
Philly Roller Girls

F*** Yeah

I've never been so excited to be a fan of derby. The east coast is setting the bar high, and the sport benefits greatly from this. Thank you east coast for kicking so much ass!

I have to show love for Windy City and Oly, too.

That really means something

That really means something comming from Mo Pain IMHO. Having seen her skate at ECE and at the scrimage last (Feb?) I have to say that she is one hell of a jammer.

What a great day for Derby that was

So like the weather was amazing, making the ride down from Delaware just totally enjoyable. And then watching three amazing derby teams put on such a show of skill and talent. Don't think Saturday could have been any better.

And reading the recaps today made work go by so much easier.

I <3 Dolly Rocket

That's all.

#1.21 Gigawatts!
"Let's see if you bastards can do 90"
Arch Rival Roller Girls

why thank you!

thanks to smarty for loving me, and everyone giving me way more credit than I deserved for the games this past weekend. I surround myself with people that make me look good, so I guess I'm doing something right. I don't think I had the best game of my life this past weekend, and my teammates were there to cover for me and pick up my slack. Thats what being on a team is. Thanks guys!

Seriously though, good players become great players when they are on a great team. CCRGs all stars is a really great and hard working team, with a diverse bench. We do have a lot of newer girls this year that have only played a season of roller derby, but I have th utmost confidence that come regionals time they will be superstars in their own right. I wholly trust everyone on the all stars on the track to do their jobs and be generally ass kicking. Plus, this is the smartest, most interesting and most fun group of women! I love being on this team.

Dolly Rocket