GAME READY: Belles excited for first game action

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 6, 2018

The Troy Belles made a deep run last summer and made another trip to the World Series. This summer, new head coach Max Bundy is at the helm and he hopes to guide his team to another state title in Troy.

The Belles have yet to play a meaningful game this summer. They did play in a few warmup games a few weeks back, but Friday’s game will be the first for the Troy Belles.

“We are excited to play a game against an opponent,” Bundy said. “We have played against some of the other teams in practice games, but we are looking forward to getting back into competition where it counts.”

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Bundy was the assistant coach a year ago when the Belles made the trip to the World Series. He coached under then-head-coach Brian McLendon. This time around, the roles are reversed.

The Belles have six returning players off last year’s squad.

“I helped it coaching last year and I have six returning girls that were on the team last year,” Bundy said. “We picked up six girls this year and they are doing really good. They are hitting the ball really well.”

When Bundy took over full-time, he knew the history of the Belles.

“This is a real special group of girls,” Bundy said. “These girls can really play and six of them will come back and be able to go to the World Series again. The team is doing really good together. It’s exciting to go out and represent Troy again with a good group of girls that has the potential of winning the World Series.”

When last year did come to a close, Troy left without a trophy. Bundy believes the six that were in uniform last year learned and experienced a lot.

“The six girls that are coming back have a lot of knowledge,” Bundy said. “We played a lot of games during state. It’s about not putting your head down. We played well in state last year. In the World Series, our bats just went flat.”

Bundy is expressing the importance of strong defense while repeatedly telling them that defense wins game. With that being said, Bundy believes his team’s strength is at the plate.

“Our strength is going to be out bats,” Bundy said. “We have all the girls, everybody in the lineup hitting at practice. I have coached a lot of teams and these girls can hit.”

Troy will open up with Eufaula on Friday night. It is the only team in the bracket that Bundy knows much of anything about. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Players on the Belles roster include Dakota Berry, Emily Bryan, Morgan Bundy, McKenzie Cain, Stella Gillbreath, Avery Henderson, Emily Hughes, Heather Maxwell, Lexi McLendon, Anna Price, Ally Rushing and Emily Williamson.