The Ruthless Allstars 2022, a squad featuring players who are 12 years old and younger from across the Highland Lakes, are headed to a PONY Softball World Series in Laredo July 12-17.
To help pay for the trip, the team is accepting donations. Players will conduct a “Fill the Helmet” fundraiser beginning at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at the entrance of the the city of Cottonwood Shores on the corner of RR 2147 and Pecan Lane. Donors also can give through Venmo: @Ruthless-Allstars2022,
“We’re looking for funds to get on the road and pay for hotel rooms,” head coach Kristen Jennings said. “We want to keep everyone safe and have a great time. We’re all about having fun and doing what we love.”
The team (13-11) includes players from Burnet, Johnson City, Marble Falls and Liberty Hill: Alexa Arevalo, Avery Bowen, Brooklynn Damico, Maya Gutierrez, Callie Phillips, Layton Powell, Emma Quinonez, Braelyn Smith, Jayanna “JJ” Thomas, Colbie Watson, Kinley Williamson and Karlie Wyatt. The assistant coaches are Amanda Jennings, Allie Watson and Shaun Wyatt.
Kristen Jennings has been part of four teams advancing to World Series tournaments. This year tournament organizers will have an opening ceremonies, a first since 2019 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is a completely different team,” she said. “That (8-and-under) team was coach-pitch. At 10 (and under) is where you switch to kid pitch. They hit bombs. The pitcher is on point. With age comes maturity.”
Jennings said the team practiced for a week before heading to San Marcos for a tournament it finished as the runner-up. By the team Ruthless got to the sectional tournament in Round Rock, the players had developed the chemistry necessary to accomplish their goals. That led to a berth in a regional tournament June 24-26.
“We placed fifth out of 17 teams, which qualified us to go to a PONY League World Series,” Jennings said. “The heat was brutal. We tried to keep them hydrated and cool.”
The keys to her teams success remain the same, the coach said.
“Heart and passion,” she said. “We go in as the underdogs. A lot of teams played together for the entire season. We go in and never gave up. I’m big on respect. My big thing is how the girls treat their parents and each other. “
Jennings was unable to attend the first game of the regional tournament because she was working. As a result, head coach Brandon Parrish of Oak Hill and Wade Pinkston of Cedar Park made themselves available to help.
Ruthless won that game, and players called their coach to tell her.
“We wanted to call you to tell you we won,” Jennings recalled hearing. “Get here as soon as you can.”
She credits her players for always believing they can win, no matter what the scoreboard reads.
“The girls have put in the hard work,” she said. “We’re doing conditioning and lots of practice. We’re getting ready for the heat. Parents are driving in from a distance. They’re showing their commitment is there. The players fight. Their heart and passion is amazing.”
Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.