By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director
OXFORD – Fourth-ranked Houston Academy’s Braya Hodges came in to relieve starting pitcher Emily Adams with two outs in the second inning. She proceeded to get out of a bases-loaded jam, then got all the run support she needed in the bottom of the third inning on Mary Suzan Aman’s two-run inside-the-park home run to left field in the Lady Raiders’ 2-1 victory over Cherokee County in the Class 4A state softball tournament at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park on Friday.
Hodges earned the win after working 5 1/3 innings in the circle. She struck out 12 and allowed just one hit – a triple to right by Grayson Tucker in the top of the third. She also allowed a walk to the first batter she faced, Abby Lea in the top of the second which loaded the bases for the Lady Warriors.
Hodges struck out Raechel Russell to end the Lady Warrior scoring threat.
After allowing a triple to Tucker in the third, Hodges struck out six in a row, with each of the Lady Warrior hitters swinging.
Emma Hill was the tough-luck loser for the Lady Warriors. She allowed just two hits, walked two and had a pair of strikeouts. She also drove in the lone Lady Warrior run on a single to center against Adams in the top of the first that scored Abby Lea. Lea led off the game with a single to center.
Aman and Emily Maddox had the only two hits for Houston Academy. Tylaya Lingo walked and scored on Aman’s inside-the-park home run in the third. Hodges was hit by a pitch and walked.
Cherokee County will face Brooks in the losers bracket later on Friday. Brooks lost its tournament opener to Northside 3-2.