The Cherry Bombs knew they had to be prepared for anything against the untested team calling themselves the Mix-Up Misfits last Saturday at the Civic Center. After their original opponent was unable to field enough players for a roster, this team was assembled from players around the state who came out for the love of derby and was bench managed by JP the Quadfather and Rochella De Ville from Kalkaska’s Small Town Outlaws. For some it was their first bout ever while others had been playing over a year, so the range of experience (and the jammer pool) was wide. The Cherry Bombs had the advantage of playing together for a couple of months and relied on their teamwork to keep this game competitive. Despite an impressive comeback in the second half to retake the lead, the Cherry Bombs eventually lost to the Mix-Up Misfits 185-120.
The Bombs relied heavily on their jammer Mel Practice, who jammed an impressive 22 times during the bout and put up nearly half their total scoring points, followed by Notorious VIC with 33 points and Wanda Hurtchu with 24 points. Mel Practice opened the bout nabbing lead against Lolly Pops Em Hard, who was sent to the box for a track cut caused by the efforts of Cherry Bombs blockers Javalanche and Notorious VIC. Mel Practice scored 14 points before a track cut of her own turned the tables and allowed Getcha Pawz Off to respond with 4 unchallenged points in the next jam. The next 15 jams were a war of attrition with scores that were either tied at 0, tied at 4, or allowed one team to get 4 before the other jammer breathing down her neck forced the call off. Mel Practice and Getcha Pawz Off each took a turn landing apex jumps, making the crowd go wild. The Cherry Bombs maintained the lead in the close match with a score of 34-38 almost 20 minutes into the first half.
Then disaster befell the Cherry Bombs in a tough jam for Mel Practice where she was sent to the penalty box for a track cut once again and the Misfits jammer Go Go Gadget collected 25 points, stealing the lead at 59-38. The Bombs stepped up their defense with Mel Practice getting aggressive and knocking down opposing jammers whenever possible and her teammates Betty Bumpsnbruises, Killah Cuda, and Cinderhella waterfalling hits to keep jammers slowed down in the pack. After several short jams pecking away at the scoreboard, it was 76-62 at the end of the first half in favor of the Misfits.
The break got the Cherry Bombs back on track and for five consecutive jams, Mel Practice, Notorious VIC, and Cinderhella scored enough points to retake the lead 85-87, less than 10 minutes into the second half. Ms. Erie Machine, Florence Fightingale, Wanda Hurtchu, and Runaround Sue showed great teamwork in the pack, forming walls and putting hits out on the jammers. Tides turned when the Misfits were granted a power jam opportunity, scoring a total of 25 points over two jams by Lolly Pops Em Hard and Getcha Pawz Off, but was slowed down considerably by first-time bouters Chief Drop Aho and Rapunzel Rumble at the back as well as the knockdown efforts of Notorious VIC and Cinderhella. With 14 minutes left in the game, Wanda Hurtchu faced off against Lolly Pops Em Hard at the jammer line. BiPolar Roller knocked Lolly out of bounds, but the jam finished with a tie of 4-4. In the next jam, despite the admirable efforts of Notorious VIC knocking out Misfits jammer Dirty Long Legs and staying in bounds pirouetting on a single toe stop, the Bombs had more bad luck when their jammer was sent to the box and the Misfits wracked up 14 more points over two jams, bringing the score to 136-98. Later when aggressive jamming sent Notorious VIC to the box for a backblock, her sister Chief Drop Aho showed some of her best defense all game, repeatedly hitting out Misfits jammer Case Invader. Case Invader ended up being sent to the sin bin and together Notorious VIC and Mel Practice added 13 points for the Cherry Bombs, bringing the score to 156-116 with 5 minutes left in the game.
The crowd showed some hometown love for Amazon Avenger who stepped up to the jammer line on behalf of the Mix-Up Misfits. Amazon is a friend to the Cherry Bombs and has been practicing with the team on a temporary basis, and this was her first bout. Betty Bumpsnbruises jammed for the Cherry Bombs, but slow recovery from a bad fall resulted in a track cut and 5 points were
scored by Amazon Avenger and another 10 by Dirty Long Legs in the next jam. Staunch defense on both sides slowed the ability of jammers to earn lead for the rest of the bout. The final score was 185-120, with Mel Practice being awarded MVP Jammer and Notorious VIC MVP Blocker for the Cherry Bombs. Getcha Pawz Off was awarded MVP Jammer and After Burner was awarded MVP Blocker for the Mix-Up Misfits.