Troy’s presence will be felt in Dixie Softball World Series

Making it to a Dixie World Series is the dream of every “little league” softball and baseball player in the country and is a huge accomplishment for any community to send a team to a World Series, but sending three in the same year is almost unbelievable. This year, though, the unbelievable is reality.

Troy Parks and Recreation’s SweeTees (6U), Angels (10U) and Belles (15U) all won the Dixie Softball Alabama State Championship in their respective divisions and all have advanced to the Dixie Softball World Series in Louisiana.

“Traditionally, we’re very fortunate to have one girls softball team make it to the World Series every year or at least every other year and we’ve never had two go in the same year,” said Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith said. “To have three girls teams from our leagues advance to a World Series is just incredible.”

Not only will Troy be represented by three World Series teams but also six separate pairs of sisters are also competing in the World Series, making for an even more unique situation. Sisters Alyssia Sellers and Lakayla Sellers and Madison Allen and Morgan Allen play together on the Belles, while Clara Chandler is a member of the Belles and her sister Lexie Chandler is a member of the Angels. Lexie Sullins is a member of the Angels and Zaylie Sullins is a member of the SweeTees. Claire Dixon is on the SweeTees and her sister Beth Dixon is on the Belles. Also, Calleigh Compton is on the Belles and Rylan Mitchell is on the Angels.

“There is no question it speaks highly of girls softball in Troy trending upward at a strong rate,” Smith said. “Troy has often been referred to as a baseball town, which we do have a tradition in baseball, but softball has really improved in quality over the years and that is a testament to the parents and coaches who have invested in their children for them to get better.

“The girls are having a lot of fun and winning games and we could not be any more proud of them.”

Belles coach James Allen expressed a similar view of the way softball has been built up in Troy over recent years.

“I think it just shows what the commitment and investment does from a community and city,” Allen emphasized. “I think it shows what can happen when you have the right people and the right support.

“We’re continuing to build a softball pipeline here in Troy. It also goes to show the commitment our older girls have in teaching our younger girls and showing them and being an example for them. It also is a testament to our wonderful Rec. Department that has invested and believed in our girls. It’s an awesome time for Troy Softball.”

Angels Coach Josh Mathews said the way his team managed to come back from adversity in the State Tournament really impressed him.

“I’m super proud of them,” he said. “I think we’re the first 10U team to win a state championship in Troy and I’m super proud of that. I’m proud of the coaches but the girls battled the whole tournament.

“We were down 14-5 in the championship game and we came back to score 10 runs in the final inning to win. I’m just so proud of them.”

The SweeTees will be traveling to Ball, LA where they will play host Louisiana on July 30 at 11 a.m. at the Ward 10 Recreation Complex. The Belles will also play host Louisiana on July 30 at 11 a.m. from the Ward 10 Recreation Complex. The Angels will face Team Mississippi on July 30 at 11 a.m. from the Johnny Downs Sports Complex in Alexandria, LA.

“I want to see them take it to an even higher level because we will be facing stiffer competition,” Allen said of his Belles. “I want them to take the energy and use it to elevate themselves to the next level, so they can continue to have success and play together.

“It’s going to be different, they’ll have some adversity, but we need to play together and pick each other up and most of all, play together and have fun. I want them to take in the moment and enjoy the success they’ve earned and accomplished.”

Mathews also said he really wants to see his Angels have fun more than anything else.

“I want to see them have fun,” he emphasized. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience right here, so go have fun with it, play your hearts out and represent the State of Alabama and City of Troy.

“You’re supposed to be having fun right here. You dedicated your whole summer to get here, so go have fun with it.”