The Troy Ponytails accept their state championship trophy after knocking off Geneva on Wednesday. (Photo/Dan Smith)
The Troy Ponytails accept their state championship trophy after knocking off Geneva on Wednesday. (Photo/Dan Smith)

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Troy Ponytails capture state championship

Published 10:28pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Upon stepping in to the lobby of the Troy Parks and Recreation Department, visitors are immediately greeted with trophies signifying the accomplishments of teams of the past.

Until Wednesday, only one of those trophies were for softball. The Troy Dixie Ponytails softball tournament team clinched the Alabama State Championship on Wednesday morning in Underwood, besting Geneva 4-0.

The win on Wednesday morning ended a 10-year state title drought for the city of Troy, and head coach Larry Rushing said that his team was up to the challenge of ending the streak.

“The girls got it in their mind that they were going to win it, and they did,” Rushing said. “This same group of girls had been to state before and came up a little bit short. They never doubted themselves this time and played really well.”

Troy rolled through the competition at the state tournament, winning all six games it played. The Ponytails scored 65 runs, and gave up just 13, winning by an average of over eight runs a game.

Along the way Troy knocked off Opelika 12-5, Colbert Heights 20-3, Geneva 7-0, Underwood 8-3, Montgomery Gray 14-2 and Geneva again, 4-0.

With the win, Troy advances to the World Series in Alexandria, La. August 2-7.

Troy captured the district title two weeks ago, and now sits just a few wins away from making a clean sweep and capturing the ultimate prize of a World Series title

“We are going to enjoy this one for a few days, and then get back to work,” Rushing said. “The girls worked really hard over the last few weeks. But this isn’t the girls’ end goal. This is just a step along the journey.”

The team was welcomed home on Thursday with a police escort and victory celebration at the Troy Parks and Recreation Department.

“To see this girls play is a joy to see,” said Dan Smith, director of Troy Parks and Recreation. “They are great athletes, and have made the city of Troy proud.”

  • 6be3sg

    “Until Wednesday, only one of those trophies were for softball.”
    This would be an incorrect statement considering that the Troy Angels were runners-up in the Angels X-play World Series last year (which also receives a trophy). Those girls worked very hard as well and deserve to not be forgotten for the great accomplishment they had. Although some may not consider it to be much considering they were the host team and runners-up, they proved everyone, including their own coach, wrong and proved that a host team doesn’t equal no heart and no talent. Please do a better job of recognizing ALL of our great athletes in this city.

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    • abc

      I don’t know about the “even their own coach” part of your statement 6be3sg. Their coach worked tirelessly getting a very young Angels team ready for the tournament. He even payed for pitching lessons for some of the girls out of his own pocket, because he knew we would likely run out of pitchers due to the Dixie rule limiting the number of innings each pitcher can pitch. He knew that no one expected the team to go very far, and he used that to motivate the girls. Each girl on that team improved so much during the season, and I attribute to a coach who loved every single girl on that team, and put in the time and effort to make big things happen with them. So proud of this year’s team as well! Hard work pays off!

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      • 6be3sg

        I am sure it would be hard for you to say anything negative about the coach, considering your relationship and natural desire to defend him. However, that is not an accurate remembrance of his treatment/attitude toward them last year. He even admitted himself that he had not given them the REAL chance and credit they deserved. I only stated a point that was WELL obvious to everyone surrounding last year’s team and did not choose to get “personal” with it. And, this was not a “young team” as you stated, with many being his own travel players and only one that was not in the league for the second year, if I remember correctly. As for the pitching lessons and what he paid for…..well, everyone knows…. and I’ll just leave it at that.

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