Watch out fellas, the softball girls are gaining on you in a hurry

Published 8:15 pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times: Troy is a baseball town.

While recent history on the high school baseball diamond echoes that statement, there looks to be some new kids on the block looking to change the status quo.

The softball teams that represent the Troy Parks and Recreation Department are doing their best to change the thought that Troy is a one-sport town. On Wednesday, Troy won the Dixie Belles State Tournament, marking the second recreation league softball state championship for a Troy team.

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Prior to 2013, only one Troy softball team had achieved the honor.

Six members of the 2014 Troy Belles team – Tucker Earles, Kelsey Gibson, Molly Kate Sanders, Sidney Armstrong, Sydni Garrett and Hannah Calhoun – were members of the 2013 Ponytails state champs and are leading the charge to make Troy a softball town.

Fast pitch softball is still a young sport compared to baseball, football and basketball, but is growing every year. Softball is the fourth most popular sport at the high school level, and the Women’s College World Series has millions of viewers each year.

The easiest way to get folks behind you is to win. It worked for Chase Riddle and the TSU baseball team in the 1980’s. Butch Austin did the same at Pike Liberal for years, and Charles Henderson’s Derek Irons is doing it now.

While the high school softball teams have taken their lumps in recent seasons, the future looks bright for the young ladies of the diamond.

I fully believe in just a handful of years from now, Troy will be home to a high school softball state champion.

Look over your shoulder boys, there is a new ball player in town, and she is wearing eye black, spikes and a bow in her hair. Softball is coming and coming fast.

Ryan McCollough is a sports writer for The Messenger. He covers recreation, high school and Troy University athletics, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the Alabama Sports Writers Association.