West 5th Place: 6W Rat City Stops 5W Rocky Mountain, 196-171
RICHMOND, CA -- The fifth place game of the WFTDA West Region playoffs was predicted by the opening seeding, as #5 Rocky Mountain took on #6 Rat City -- but Rat City nudged Rocky Mountain out of that position, winning a defensive and often very slowly paced battle 196-171.
Rocky Mountain had lost to #4 Oly on Friday, but worked their way to decisively defeat #7 Arizona (279-76) and pull one out against #8 Angel City (172-126). Rat City arrived in the fifth place game by losing a hard-fought matchup to the host team, #3 Bay Area Derby Girls, but coming back to waylay #9 Wasatch (244-172) and sock it to #10 Sacred City (243-115). The teams combined for 10 jammer penalties in the game -- five to each team -- but Rat City was more successful in taking advantage of them, and those points proved to be the margin of victory. Fancy footwork from jammers Jalapeno Business, Carmen Getsome, and Method of Madness resulted in a 25 point win for Rat.
The game was very low-scoring in the opening half -- for most of the early action, jammers just kept calling hits and-quits after being battered by bashing blockers. Most noteworthy were Assaultin’ Pepa and Bob Loblaw for Rocky and a big, dangerous combination of Hard Cora and Anya Heels for Rat City. The first of many 4-0 jams was by Sweet Mary Pain for Rocky, followed by both teams scoring next time: Rat City’s Carmen Getsome and Rocky’s Casstrator made it 8-3 Rocky. Rocky’s Toxic Taunic and Casstrator each added 4, but Rat City kept it close when Jalapeno Business and Kamikaze Kim matched with their own hit-and-quits.
This back-and-forth continued to the half’s midpoint, until Rat City earned lead jammer three times in a row, but couldn’t capitalize. They added only four points total to keep the advantage in Rocky’s court, 23-20. Halfway through, the bout finally had its first power jam, but both jammers did time and scored points to make it 33-29 Rocky.
RMRG's Casstrator then put up 10 more, and after a few jams where Rat City got lead status but couldn’t capitalize, Jalapeno Business proved too hot to handle, scoring 19 in a power jam to give Rat City their first lead with less than seven minutes left in the half. After more hit-and-quits took the game up to halftime, almost simultaneous jammer penalties in the last jam meant both Alpha Q Up and Jalapeno Business barely burnished the box. Jalapeno then popped out in front of Rocky’s blockers to preserve her team’s narrow lead. At the halftime break, Rat led by 4, 73-69.
Fans hoping for something new in the second half got denied, as the teams kept exchanging hit-and-quits. However, Rocky tried to shake things up to start with a star pass from Alpha Q. Up to Amanda Jamitinya after Alpha returned from the box post-halftime, but RCR jammer Carmen Getsome still scored 11 in the power jam to keep Rat rolling. The point differential stayed between 10 and 15 for the first ten minutes, until a penalty on Jalapeno Business right as she called off the jam gave Rocky’s Sweet Mary Pain an opportunity to retake the lead next time around, going up 99-98. In a full 2-minute jam midway through, Sweet Mary Pain prevailed over Carmen Getsome, increasing Rocky’s lead to 122-105.
Rat City slowly chipped away at Rocky’s lead, coming back to make it 123-122 Rocky, but it was the jam where Rat didn’t have lead that was the most fateful. Rocky blockers Bob Loblaw and May Q. Pay held Kamikaze Kim for a long time after Toxic Taunic went to the box, Kim reclaimed the lead, scoring 19 to move the score to 141-125 Rat City. Rocky never led again, as Rat City held lead jammer status for the next three jams.
The final jams of the game were somewhat ridiculously high scoring, going 8-4 Rat, 16-8 Rocky, 18-12 Rat and 21-14 Rat in a final frame that saw RMRG's Sweet Mary Pain taking lead while down by 18 but unable to gain advantage on Carmen Getsome. In the end it'd be a 196-171 win for Rat City.