MILWAUKEE, WI–This match was anticipated by many to be extraordinarily close, with Flat Track Stats predicting the result was an absolute toss-up–but that wasn’t the game we were presented with. The first half was all Ohio, all the time, but a string of big jams for Rat City early in the second half put them right back in it, and the second period was characterised by duelling power jams and frequent lead changes. Outa My Wayman forced a gamesaving cut on Carmen Getsome in the closing minutes of the match, though, allowing Phoenix Bunz to run out the clock and secure the win for Ohio, 230-212.
Ohio started off strong with their familiar one-two punch of Phoenix Bunz and The Smacktivist. Smack put the first points on the board in the second jam by ducking under the already shortened Rat City pack for four points, followed by Bunz with another four.
Rat started the power jam game when Jukestapose low blocked Bunz to the inside. Ohio blockers hung back while Carmen Getsome and Yoko Onoudiâ€™nt made The Smacktivist work hard, but she still managed to stretch their lead to 22 points–and seven minutes in, Rat still hadn’t gotten on the board.
It was then Ohioâ€™s turn for a jammer penalty as Pippi Ripyourstockings tried to knock out Sintripetal Force on the jam line, but landed the hit right into her back. Rat finally got on the board with 14 points–but was the closest they got for the rest of the half.
Ratâ€™s freshest All-Star and playoffs MVP, Luna Negra, took the line next while Pippi was standing in the box. Bunz, fielded as pivot, proved her multi-tasking skills by forcing Luna on a cut as she got lead and then receiving a star pass as Pippi returned to the track. Bunz ran right through the pack again and again, digging a hole for Rat with a 34 point jam.
The Smacktivist struggled in the pack against Method of Madness which gave Jalapeno Business the lead. Smack saw the light of day at the front of the pack, but got out with a forearm penalty, which handed the power jam advantage back to Rat. Jalapeno tried to work on their deficit with nine points and called it while Smack still sat in the box.
Jukestapose tried to continue her teammate’s run in the next jam but landed in the penalty box on a cut forced by Bratislava Bruiser. Smack returned and proved that her success isnâ€™t only about strength as she tip-toed around the only two Rat blockers on the track. She added a few more grand slams to their lead as Jukestapose returned–only to land in the box again on an illegal procedure. Bunz put up 14 points in the next jam, making it 85-27 with 15 minutes left in the half.
Rat City decided that something needed to change and put Carmen Getsome–who’s been fielded primarily in the pack this season–on the jammer line. She grabbed lead and four points, followed up by Jalapeno with 12 to get them closer at 89-43.
The quick momentum shift ended as Luna Negra got her second jammer penalty when forced on a cut by Outa My Wayman. The tiny Bigg Rigg debuted on the line with a 15 point jam over a diminishing Rat pack. Luna returned in the next jam but struggled against the strong Ohio blockers, and Bunz pushed their lead to 113-43 as she called off the jam on one foot.
Rat City continued to chip away at Ohioâ€™s lead and Luna Negra brought them even closer with a 19 point jam, as Kitty Liquorbottom sat down with the star, leaving the score 117-79 in Ohio’s favour with four minutes left in the half. Carmen proved a wise choice with the star as she reliably got lead status and points for Rat. They’d given up too many points in the first 15 minutes of the bout to reclaim the lead, but were on their way back at the end of the half, 142-96.
Carmen continued her hot streak in the start of the second half with two grand slams over a trapped Phoenix Bunz, making it a 36 point game. The Smacktivist, on the other hand, seemed to be struggling and was forced on a cut by Method of Madness. Rat took this momentum and ran with it. Dueling power jams between Smack and Carmen ended with Rat finally taking the lead by one point.
But with just a single point in it, that lead was far from secure and Bunz erased it, bringing the score to 170-162 as AVa Tarr and Bratislava Bruiser held Carmen in the pack. Even 12 points didn’t prove a safe margin, though: The Smacktivist hit the pack too hard at the end of the next jam, picking up an illegal procedure penalty. Rat City regained the lead over the next three jams while holding Ohio scoreless and the board read 177-170 with 16 minutes left on the clock.
A determined Ohio pack held Jalapeno Business back long enough to get Pippi Ripyourstockings three grand slams and regain the lead for their side. Both teams kept it tight for the next few jams until Kitty Liquorbottom landed in the box with a track cut. Ohio tried to hang on to the lead, as Amy Spears knocked Jalapeno down hard on one pass, and Bratislava Bruiser ended the night with a high block and her seventh penalty.
Carmen Getsome grabbed 19 points, and another lead change, as Kitty finished her penalty, but Luna Negra took the line next and handed the power jam points right back to Phoenix Bunz, who took it a step further with 35 points. With 19 points separating Rat from a victory, Carmen Getsome was determined to get out of the pack, but didnâ€™t see Outa My Wayman sneaking back to force a cut on her. Bunz got lead and ran out the last seconds of the period, giving Ohio the win, 230-212.