Troy Ponytails capture state championship

Published 10:28 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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)

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.

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“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.”