Published 11:50 am Thursday, July 4, 2013

Softball tourney deemed success, champs crowned

Mother Nature tried her best numerous times throughout the week at the Troy Sportsplex, but the Dixie Softball District Tournament went off without a hitch.

Over 20 teams converged on the Sportsplex on Enzor Road in Troy, each with hopes of capturing one of the two state championship seeds in their divisions. When all the dust settled and all the games finished, two Troy area teams secured spots for the next round.

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The Troy Ponytails overcame a 4-2 loss to Geneva in the first round of the championship series, and routed the same Geneva team 15-3 in the deciding game. Troy head coach Larry Rushing said that he wanted his team to play “looser” in game two, and feels that it did just that in the “must-win game.”

“Sometimes it helps to lose a game, and be reminded that you are not perfect,” Rushing said. “I think that this may help us in the long run. We will now prepare a little bit harder, knowing that we can be beat.”

The Zion Chapel Belles entered the final day of the tournament needing one win over Ashford to claim the district title and the No. 1 seed. The win never came, as Zion Chapel lost both ends of the double header 10-4 and 12-11.

Zion Chapel will represent District 6 at the state tournament in Smiths Station.

On Saturday the tournament was halted due to a large storm system that passed over the complex. Players and parents were sent to their vehicles to wait it out, and the grounds crew of the Troy Parks and Recreation Department went to work as soon as the rain ended.

Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith commended the staff for their hard work.

“All the staff, David Dickey, Bart Pettus, the concession workers, the grounds crew, gate workers and everyone else truly earned all their pay this week,” said Smith. “Some tournaments are small, some are good and others are great. This was a truly great tournament.”

David Dickey, Director of Youth Sports for the TPRD, said that he has the utmost confidence in his staff of workers.

“This weekend wasn’t our first rodeo,” said Dickey. “We did a lot of work on our fields, putting new crowns on them and such, in the off-season. We had the fields ready to go pretty quick after a heavy rain. They know what they are doing, and do it well.”

The Troy Sportsplex will play host to the Dixie O-Zone Alabama State Tournament later this month, and Dickey feels that that park staff is ready for the task.

“I told them that this tournament will get them a peak at what is to come with the O-Zone,” said Dickey. “We saw some things we need to work on, but as a whole we are ready to go.”

The O-Zone State Tournament begins Friday July 19 with opening ceremonies.