Pair of Troy softball teams heading to Dixie World Series  

Published 11:37 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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On Monday, Troy wrapped up a week of softball action that saw teams from every age group compete in Dixie Softball State Tournaments with two teams from the host city advancing to the Dixie World Series.  

Over the first few days, the Sweetees (6U) and Darlings (8U) tournaments took place, while the Angels (10U), Ponytails (12U), Belles (15U) and Debs (18U) tournaments began July 5. 

“It has been phenomenal,” Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said. “The support of the community and number of teams we have and quality and caliber of play we’ve seen has been great.
“Our girls did exceptional in every age group. I can’t say enough about our grounds crew. We had rain and more rain every day and they worked as hard as you could ask and had the best attitudes and still do to this moment. All of the praise we received, 99 percent has been about our grounds crew.” 

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For the first time, Troy played host to all age groups in the state tournaments. Smith felt it was a big success.

“This is the first time we’ve hosted all six divisions of girls softball state tournaments and it has been so fulfilling seeing all these young ladies,” Smith said. “Troy has always had the moniker of being known as a baseball town – and for good reason – but now clearly softball in Troy is carrying the load, as well. The Troy teams for all ages can play with anyone in the state and we are so proud of these young girls and the coaches and especially their families.”  

The Troy Darlings went 6-1 during the state tournament knocking off Valley Grande 27-0, Enterprise 13-7, Montgomery 3-2, Dothan 7-2 and Madison 5-1 before falling to Dothan 7-3. That loss forced a deciding game between Troy and Dothan with the Troy Darlings taking the state championship 5-0.  

The Troy Darlings will represent Alabama in the Darlings World Series in Prince George, Va., July 26-30.  

The Troy Belles dominated their way to an undefeated record, outscoring their opponents 71-14 in the Belles State Tournament. The Troy Belles feature a number of high school players from around the area.

“I’m very proud of our girls,” Coach Terry Garrett said. “I was nervous how we would pitch in the tournament but they pitched very well. I wasn’t too nervous about how well we would hit because we are a very good hitting team and they did that.”

In the opening game, the Bells knocked off Slocomb by a score of 22-0. Janazia Cantlow went 2-for-3 at the plate for Troy with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Beth Dixon went 1-for-2 with three RBIs, a triple and three runs, while Calleigh Compton went 2-for-2 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and two runs. Mary Brown went 2-for-2 with four RBIs, two runs and a double. Mary Holland Stephens pitched three innings and struck out eight batters, while giving up no hits or runs.

Next, Troy beat Greenville by a score of 14-4. Reece Garrett went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, while Dixon went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run. Hailey Griffin went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run, while Brooke Horn pitched four innings and struck out a batter along with giving up five hits and one earned run.

Troy beat Eufaula by a score of 11-5 in game three. Gracie Smith went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs along with Yaley McLendon going 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs. Cantlow pitched two innings and struck out a pair of batters with one hit and two earned runs. Stephens pitched three innings and fanned seven batters, while giving up one hit and no runs.

Troy beat Greenville again by a score of 17-4. This time, Garrett went 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs, while Dixon went 3-for-3 with four RBIs, a home run and two runs. Cantlow went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a double and two runs. Julianne Meyer went 3-for-3 with a triple, four RBIs and two runs. Griffin also hit a homer. McLendon went 2-for-3 with two runs, while striking out three batters and giving up one hit and one earned run in one inning pitched. Stephens pitched two innings with four strikeouts along with giving up two hits and one earned run. Compton also struck out two batters in two innings in the circle.

Finally, Troy secured the tournament championship – and undefeated record – with a 7-1 win over Eufaula. Garrett went 2-for-2 with two runs, while Dixon went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Horn pitched five innings and fanned six batters along with giving up five hits and one earned run. Dixon also struck out five batters and gave up no hits or runs in two innings pitched.  

The Troy Belles will head to Prince George, Va., on July 19 for the Dixie Belles World Series. Last year this group made it to the Dixie World Series and finished runner-up. 

“I want to see consistency from our girls on the offensive side with the bats trying to limit strikeouts and putting balls in play,” Garrett said. “Our motto is to make the plays that are given to you and have good pitching. We want to throw strikes. I think our biggest thing is do the things that will help you win the ball game, which is limiting walks and make the plays they give you defensively. I think if we hit like we should we will have a very  good chance.” 

The Troy Ponytails also made it to the State Championship Game on Monday before falling to Montgomery-Gray by a score of 7-6. The Troy Ponytails opened the tournament with a 13-8 win over Geneva and bested Dothan 16-6 and Greenville 13-3. After a loss to Montgomery-Gray by a score of 8-3, Troy beat Dothan again 5-4 to earn a spot in the state championship before falling on Monday.