Bronze on the bayou

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Troy Belles come home third at World Series

The Alabama Belles returned home to Troy about a day earlier than they had hoped, but were proud to represent their state at the Dixie Softball World Series.

Alabama fell to North Carolina 13-5 Tuesday night in Ponchatoula, La., Ending there big for a World Series crown.

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Despite the early exit from the tournament, Alabama head coach Larry Sanders is proud of the way his team competed against the best softball players the South has to offer.

“I am so proud of these girls,” Sanders said. “They played their hearts out down there for four days. I couldn’t be any prouder of these girls if they brought that trophy home. They never quit, and always played hard.”

The Belles carried the Troy banner through the state levels of tournament play, but the members of the team call several different schools home.

Molly Kate Sanders, Tucker Earles, Kelsey Gibson, Hannah Calhoun, Lakin Turner and Sidney Armstrong play for Charles Henderson, Kate Warrick, Abby Taylor and Sydni Garrett are Goshen Lady Eagles, Danielle Brown and Lexie Motes play for Pike Liberal Arts, Rose Snyder’s school team is Zion Chapel and Ashlee Riley is a Pike County Lady Dawg.

Sanders said the talent of the group gets better every year, and if they were all on one school team a blue map would come to the Troy area.

“This is good times for softball in this area and around this tow,” Sander said. “If you look around at the girls that play in the rec program in Troy and travel ball, there is talent everywhere. If they all went to one school, they would be in the mix for titles every year.”

Sanders said the trip to the World Series is four days of softball that he will never forget. Troy battled back from the brink of elimination twice during the tournament, including a four-run rally in the final inning against South Carolina Monday.

“We wanted to teach them a little while we had them this summer,” Sander said. “We taught them to be more patient and I think they will be better players in the future. But I know for sure that I learned a lot from them and can’t wait to do it again soon.”