Tourney time: Troy Belles hope to win fourth straight state championship in Greenville
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016
The Troy Belles begin their quest for fourth straight state championship on Saturday.
The Belles hosted the District 9 Tournament a few weeks ago and went undefeated.
“I think the girls are vey relaxed,” said Belles head coach Terry Garrett. “They have a lot of fun. Mentally I don’t think they are nervous. I think we are good in that part of the game. I think they will be comfortable going into this.”
The Belles entered the summer with question marks about their young squad. During the district tournament, they showed their strength on the mound even if their performance at the plate trailed a bit.
“The younger girls all worked pretty hard last week,” Garrett said. “Everybody looked good. We have a very sound team. I hope the bats pick it up a little bit.”
One member of the pitching staff that the Belles will look to is Sydni Garrett. Garrett, who played for the Belle’s last year, was a key member of the pitching staff in the district tournament. “This is a five or six game tournament to win it,” said coach Garrett. “This is one of those deals where we can’t just sit on Sydni’s shoulders and let her pitch. We are going to go out and utilize these girls. We have a game plan and more than likely will be sending Lexi McLendon and Abbi Campbell in for about 15 innings.”
“If we are down or if we need her we are going to pitch Syd”, Garrett said. “We are going to do what it takes.”
The state tournament will be played over five days. “The biggest difference is going to be the number of games,” Garrett said. “On Saturday will play two games and Sunday we will play two games. There will be a lot better competition. I really believe this team can handle any team that will be there. The key will be whether we have a good game or a bad game.”
Garrett, a first year coach with the Belles, likes to use the previous teams as a measuring stick.
“It’s more about letting this team know where they stand,” Garrett said. “I tell them last year they hit the ball better than you guys and that’s where we need to improve our game. I think this team is just as good defensively as they were last year. That is really the only thing I use when referring back to the previous state champs.”
The state tournament opens Friday in Greenville. The Troy belles will play host Greenville at 1 p.m. on Saturday.