Behind strong pitching performances by Chelsea King and Lauren West, the Lady Jackets improved their 2013 record to 4-0 with a 4-2 victory over South Sumter and a 5-0 victory over Jacksonville Bishop Snyder.
The Jackets faced South Sumter on Friday, Feb. 15 and King gave up one hit while striking out nine batters. Defensively, the Jackets committed five errors but contributed seven hits with Deean Davis and Taylor Sturgill having two hits each and Cheyenne Blaha, Tonee Fabrizi and Stefani Walls each with one hit.
On Saturday, the Jackets faced State runner-up Jacksonville Bishop Snyder who featured two division one signees with one going to UCF and the other to University of Arkansas.
The Jackets managed only six hits, but drew 6 walks while striking out five times. West held the Cardinals to three hits, striking out 11. The Jackets improved on defense, committing only one error. Senior Rachael Imig led the way with two hits while Blaha, Fabrizi, Sims Walls all contributed one hit each.
The Jackets have scored 37 runs in four game and only allowed eight runs. The pitching staff have struck out 27 batters, allowing only 12 hits, one walk and one hit by pitch batter.
Members of this year’s team are: Seniors/captains Rachael Imig, Lauren West, Cheyenne Blaha; Juniors Brook Farrer, Emily Delldonne, Stefani Walls, Taylor Pittman, Deean Davis, Brianna Green, Chelsea Green, Delaney Wright, Aleigh Walters; Sophomores Tonnee Ffabrizi, Mackenzie Brown, Brittany Meadows, Taylor Sturgill; Freshmen Lexy Sims and Alex Mace.
The softball program recognized the seven state championship teams and individual players. Bartow has been in the State final four 16 times. They have a state record of winning the championship five years in a row from 2002-2006. Bartow has a total of 59 players with one or more state championships and through this all has been head coach Glenn Rutenbar with long time assistant Carl Howell, pitching coaches Richard Green and Christy Green-Sprague. Also looking down from heaven is Bob “Fitz-Daddy-fitz” Fitzgerald who passed away last year.
Over the years, the Bartow program has been blessed with many volunteers like the Jackson and Paula Green in the concession, Mark King on the PA, Lee Spears running the scoreboard, Van Mace keeping stats for the paper, Dixie Yost who assists the coach with various projects and paperwork and the many parents who man the gates.
The varsity plays Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Mulberry and then they are off until Tuesday, Feb. 26, when they travel to Haines City. On Thursday, Feb. 28 they host Auburndale, and Friday, March 1 they travel to Ridge Community.