Ponytails aim to shine as Troy hosts state

Published 11:28 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dixie Ponytails team includes: Sidney Armstrong, Addison Bryan, Tucker Earles, Alyssa English, Sydni Garrett, Kelsey Gibson, Holly Hughes, Abby Lee, Nelsey Leverette, Ashlan McCloud, Molly Kate Sanders, Rose Snyder. Coaches are Terry Garrett, Jonathon Earles, Larry Sanders. (Photo/Wes Johnson)

Troy Dixie Ponytails head coach Terry Garrett sees both positives and negatives in hosting the league’s state tournament. One thing he can rest on is the fact that the group of girls he will be coaching has been there before.

“It’s tough with the down time while everyone else is playing in sub-district and district,” Garrett said. “We have a couple of practice games and tournaments to get us ready though.”

The core group of Garrett’s won the district tournament in the Angels division last season and are primed to make another run this year.

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“Our strength is definitely our speed,” Garrett said. “I think we’ll be good with the bats and use that speed to pressure defenses.”

One area that Garrett says the coaching staff will give extra attention is the pitching staff. While many teams will have one dominate pitcher, Troy’s Ponytails will rely on its full staff during tournament play.

“We’ll have to be sound defensively and be aggressive,” said Garrett.

“Our pitchers are going to really have to work on throwing strikes and not worry about winning a game on a girl’s arm. We’re going to play good defense and win it with our bats.”

The group of 11 and 12-year-olds will look to create scoring opportunities every inning and Garrett says he has set a lofty goal for the group to reach.

“Our goal is to score 10 runs a game,” he said.

“The biggest goal we’ve talked about is we want the first two batters of every inning on base. If we can get them on and they can score everything after that is a plus.”

Garrett also feels last summer’s experience will also play a large role in the team’s performance.

“A lot of these girls have played in a state tournament already,” he said.” They went all the way to Scottsboro and played but I don’t think we had the bats last year. We are pushing the issue on offense this year because they were so close last year.”

The team will play a practice tournament this weekend at the Troy Sportsplex with the possibility of more warm-up games to come.

The Dixie Ponytails State Tournament will begin at the Troy Sportsplex on July 13.