The Bartow High School Lady Jackets Fast Pitch Softball program have started their 27th season. The Jackets have won 17 district championships, 16 regional championships, 6 state runners-up,
including the last two years, and seven state championships.
Coach Glenn Rutenbar has been at the helm for the entire time and has an overall record of 688 wins, 123 loses and 1 tie. Assisting Rutenbar will be Carl Howell, who returns for his 19th year, and Christy Green Sprague, returning for her 17th season. Handling the junior varsity will be head Coach Mallory Butler, and assistant coach Kara Rutenbar.
Bartow has had a busy offseason traveling all over the state, playing in more than 60 games this summer and fall.
On Jan. 25, they will host their annual Fan Appreciation Night and Blue and Orange Scrimmage game at 6 p.m. On the 26th at 10 a.m. the Jackets will host their annual Alumni game
The Jackets will host their pre-season classic on Feb. 2 with the following schedule:
11 a.m.: Bartow vs. Tampa Jefferson
1 p.m.: Tampa Jefferson vs. McKell
3 p.m.: Tampa Chamberlain vs. McKell
5 p.m.: Bartow vs. Tampa Chamberlain
The actual season kickoff with the first varsity game against McKell Academy on Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. at McKell and the junior varsity plays at home the same night at 7 p.m. The first home regular season game will be Feb. 15 against South Sumpter.
Another date to mark down is Feb. 16 at 9:45 a.m., honoring all state championship teams and members before the Jackets take on Jacksonville Bishop Snyder at 10 a.m.
Bartow will again host the Tournament of Champion tournament on March 28-30 with game at BHS and at the 555 Complex. Teams involved will be: Bartow , George Jenkins, Lake Region, Auburndale, Strawberry Crest, West Nassau, Tampa Chamberlain, Braden River, Lakewood Ranch, South Sumter, Eau Gallie and Durant.
Returning members of this year’s varsity team are:
Seniors: Rachael Imig, 1B/P; Cheyenne Blaha, OF; Lauren West, P
Juniors: Emiley Delldonne, P; Brooke Farrer, P; Taylor Pittman, 1B-DH; Deean Davis, IF
Sophomores: Tonnee Fabrizi, SS; Mackenzie Brown, OF/DH; Britney Meadows, OF/C
New members of this year’s varsity are:
Juniors: Delaney Wright, OF; Aleigh Walters, OF; Brianah Green, OF; Chelsea King, P; Stefani Wells, OF/DH
Sophomore: Taylor Sturgill, OF/DH
Freshmen: Lexi Sims, C/IF; Alexis Mace, C
The junior varsity teams will be comprised of:
Junior: Taylor Williams
Sophomores: Hope Brannan, Vangie Futch, Vickey Jones, Meredith McGinnis, Grace McKellip, Tiffany Means, Ericka Mincey, Sam Spears, Kaycee Twomey
Freshmen: Alyssa Berouty, Lexy Cables, Brianna Cunningham, Mallory Goin, Jasmine Locke, Katriele Lopez, Jasmine Lovietek, Savannah Puls, Bayli Robinson, Brooke Smith.
The Jackets are currently selling banners to be placed on the outfield fence. If interested contact Rutenbar at 863-287-1548.