State softball teams enjoy opening ceremonies

Published 9:33 pm Friday, July 13, 2012

Players watch fireworks during the opening ceremony of the state tournaments in Troy, Ala., Friday, July 13, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Troy welcomed 17 softball teams as three state tournaments open today at the Sportsplex.

The Dixie Angels Traditional, Dixie Debs and Dixie Ponytails X-Play State Tournaments all kicked off with opening ceremonies Friday afternoon.

More than 200 players and coaches were treated to a banquet at the Troy Parks and Recreation Center followed by on-field team introductions.

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“It was an excellent day,” director Dan Smith said. “The host families were tremendous. We were afraid that the weather might cause an issue, but as it worked out we didn’t have to go to Plan B.”

The Dixie Angels tournament will pit Pleasant Grove against Daleville in a best of three series beginning at 9 a.m.

The Dixie Debs tournament will feature five teams: Underwood, Greenville, Montgomery Grey, Crenshaw County, and Montgomery Suburban West. That tournament will begin at 9 a.m.

The Dixie Ponytails X-Play is the only tournament of the three to feature a team from Troy. The host squad will kick off play at 9 a.m. against Sand Mountain Americans. The Ponytails X-Play is also the largest of the three tournament with 10 districts represented: Troy, Sand Mountain, Thomasville, East Montgomery, Enterprise, Underwood, Montgomery American, Geneva, Tuscumbia, and Butler.

Smith says the “army” of volunteers can not be thanked enough.

“Troy has played in so many tournament that have put on great tournaments,” Smith said after the surprise fireworks show. “This is our chance to show the hospitality that Troy has to offer.

City council member Charles “Sarge” Dunn represented the city and welcomed the teams to Troy.

Troy University softball coach Melanie Davis was the guest speaker at both the banquet and opening ceremonies.

“We’re looking forward to a great tournament,” Smith said. “When these kids and parents hit the road to a state tournament, they are expecting a piece of Disney World and we do not want to disappoint them.”

The bracket for the Ponytails X-Play, in which Troy is participating is shown below.