Lofty goals: Troy plans on bringing back World Series title

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Troy Belles are returning to the World Series for the fourth time in the last five years, and this time they plan on returning with a championship.

The Belles headed out to Sumter, South Carolina Thursday morning and will begin tournament play against Florida Saturday.

“We are ready to go,” said head coach Brian McLendon. “We have had some really good practices; we had a good practice yesterday. We are looking forward to it.”

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All summer long, McLendon has preached the importance of representing Troy. Beginning this weekend, they don’t only have that opportunity to do that, they get to represent the state of Alabama.

“I have talked to these girls about attitude and representing,” McLendon said. “We are going to represent Alabama and we are going to represent God. We are going to play with enthusiasm, we are going to show good sportsmanship and we are going to do our best at winning a World Series.”

Troy has made easy work of their first two tournaments this summer. They outscored their opponents 136-34 in the district and state tournaments and forced two teams to quit. The World Series will bring the best talent from around the country, but the Belles are ready for the competition.

“You’re definitely going to see some better competition,” McLendon said. “I have a lot of faith in these girls. We are going to remain humble, but we are going to go up there believing that we are going to win.”

To prepare for the stronger pitching Troy will face at the World Series, McLendon brought in some help at practice.

“We have had girls come out and throw to us,” McLendon said. “We have had Alli Warrick pitch, Sydni Garrett came and pitched and a left hander from Wallace-Dothan pitched. We have shown them some real fast pitching and they haven’t scared away from it yet.”

The Belles have gotten support from everybody around town including Dan Smith and David Dickey from the Troy Recreation Department local businesses.

“I get chills just thinking about it,” McLendon said. “Its been humbling. The mayor, David Dickey, Dan Smith and all the businesses in the community; we have raised somewhere around $13,000. Random people just walk up and give you $20 to donate towards the team.”

Troy hopes to pay back the town by doing just one thing in Sumter.

“We are going to win it,” McLendon said. “That is our goal. We are not going to say we want to win one game or two games; we are going to win it.”