PITTSBURGH, PA — In the 3rd bout of the Steel City Derby Demons’ travel season, the Steel Hurtin’ (#8 E) hosted Conneticut’s Stepford Sabotage (#7 E.) The Steel Hurtin, fresh from their win in Indianapolis against Naptown (#5 NC), employed a strong defense to consistently hold up the Sabotage’s jammers, leading the Hurtin to a 149-33 victory.
The first period of this January 24 match could have been best summed up by fast packs and nearly impenetrable Pittsburgh defense. The Steel Hurtin showed their incredible defensive walls from the opening whistle of Saturday nights bout.
The Hurtin took control quickly within the first 5 minutes, with the Crippler putting up a 15-0 jam and Hurricane Heather picking up a huge 19-0. The Sabotage suffered a significant loss when pivot Girl Fawkes suffered a knee injury. Fortunately, she was able to to head back to her to bench under her own power but was out for the rest of the game (and was later found to have a severe ACL injury, putting her out of commission for a few months.)
The CT jammers tried to turn the tide by gaining lead jammer in the next 2 jams. Milla Lowlife used her lead jammer status to CT’s advantage. As she passed blocker Betty Bonecrusher, she called off the jam preventing Steel City’s jammer Cheeseburger to get into scoring postion, getting Connecticut on the boards with a 2-0. But Pittsburgh continued to hold CT at those 2 points while the steady jammer rotation of Hurricane Heather, Cheeseburger, and the Crippler earned 41 pts over the next ten minutes of the period.
Though the point margin was quickly getting out of hand, the Stepford ladies showed no signs of giving up going into the final jams of the first period. CT’s jammers Eleanor Bruisevelt, Pearl Jammer, and C. Mya Rage combined to finally get Connecticut into the double digits near the end of the half, bringing the score to 86-11.
With 2:31 left in the first half, jammers Hurricane Heather and Pearl Jammer took off, only to have the referees quickly call off this jam due to debris on the track – it appeared as if someone lost a piece of their skate. Realizing the item belonged to Steel City blocker Betty Bonecrusher, Bench Manager BARF scrambled to quickly rectify the situation. However, the refs still called her on a major penalty, stating she was causing a delay in the game, which caused bit of an uproar from the Hurtin bench and fans.
As she wheeled herself with one skate to the penalty box, her bench managed to hand her a spare skate. Many fans sat in amazement as they watched Bonecrusher squeezing and stomping her foot frantically into said skate – little did the crowd know, the skate she was attempting to wear was several sizes smaller than her own! By the end of her time served, she managed to curl up her toes to get that skate on and powerhoused her way back out onto the track to finish the jam as well as the half with the Steel Hurtin up 88-15.
The second period of the bout saw the speed of the packs slow down, but the intensity & determination turn up. The Stepford Sabotage started to chip away at Steel City to see themselves gain some points on the scoreboard. Over 7 jams the Sabotage were able to go mostly point for point with Steel City — Steel City picked up 21 points while Connecticut notched 15 to double their score and move the total to 109-30.
But with 18:40 to play, that was nearly the end of Connecticut’s offensive production for the evening. Only 3 points would be scored by the visitors while Steel City piled on another 40 for a definitive victory, 149-33.
Steel City next takes aim at Ohio (#7 NC) on February 21. Connecticut has a few months to tune up for a challenge of Texas (#1 SC) on June 19th.
Photos: Neil Gunner