Cordova's Hyche enjoys breakout season

Sophomore a top offensive threat for Lady Devils

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 5/8/17

CORDOVA — After a one-season absence, the Cordova Blue Devils are back in the North Central Region Tournament — this year as Class 4A, Area 10’s top qualifier and champion.

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Cordova's Hyche enjoys breakout season

Sophomore a top offensive threat for Lady Devils

Posted

CORDOVA — After a one-season absence, the Cordova Blue Devils are back in the North Central Region Tournament — this year as Class 4A, Area 10’s top qualifier and champion.

The Blue Devils resurgence back into the region picture has been due to the overall improvement of the team, including the play of sophomore Emma Hyche.

This season, Hyche has been stellar making plays at the plate and on the field. Following the area championship game, Hyche is currently second on the team offensively, with a batting average of .543, including 45 runs scored, 40 RBIs, 11 doubles, five triples and 27 stolen bases. Defensively, she’s made a number of game-saving catches at right field, recording 45 put outs.

Helping her team earn hosting rights for the area tournament, as well as the Blue Devils’ title win has been a proud moment for Hyche, who hopes the momentum gained from last week’s tournament will carry into this week’s North Central Region.

“The way that we were able to capture the championship — a 15-0, three-inning victory — was a great way to end the tournament, especially for our seniors,” Hyche said. “They were at home for their last game and you want to send them out in the best possible way — we achieved that and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Hyche was motivated after last year’s narrow loss to Carbon Hill in the area tournament, which allowed the Bulldogs to advance to the region tournament and earn an eventual berth in the state tournament, which has fueled additional effort for herself and her teammates to work hard at progression.

“Carbon Hill is a big rival for us and it was tough losing a close game like that last season in the area tournament, but seeing how they were able to make it through the region and advance to state made us realize we had the capability to be in the same position,” Hyche said. “This year, that’s translated into all of us staying in shape and training even when other teams are practicing. We have other activities as a team, like lock-ins to help bring us together closer while working hard, as anything we accomplish, we accomplish together.”

Both on and off the field, Hyche has had a number of influences to help shape the person she has become, including head coach Brittany Vintson and her coaching staff, as well as her parents. Thinking towards her post-high school career, Hyche has expressed an interest in being a neo-natal nurse.

“I’ve always enjoyed babysitting and working with children — it’s something career-wise that really appeals to me,” Hyche said. “Social interaction with children has come naturally to me, so being able to affect their lives in a positive way is what I could see myself doing.”

For Cordova to be successful at the region and earn a spot at the state tournament, Hyche said that her team had to stay both focused and cohesive in its play.

“We have to stay together as a team, as well as having our leaders push and motivate us,” Hyche said. “Both in the dugout and on the field, he have to keep our energy level up and stay supportive of each other. There are going to be quality teams in Tuscaloosa who are going to be tough challenges — we’re going to have to be as ready for them as they are for us.”