By Rohen Walters

Charleston softball coach Blain Mayhall started Raylin Cox on the mound in last Saturday’s IESA Sectional Championship game. 

Today, she helps lead the team into a state tourney game in Normal against Frankfort Hickory Creek, which is 20-2. The game starts at 12:30 p.m.

The Trojan softball (19-3) team needed to beat the Mt. Zion Braves in order to go to state. 

The Trojans pulled out a 4-0 victory, thanks to starting pitcher Raylin Cox who went three innings, only allowing one hit, striking out two, walking two and giving up zero runs. 

After the game, Raylin said: “I am so excited to feel this way. My two sisters went to state. Now it’s my turn.” 

Cox has been a leader for the Trojans. When she steps up to the plate, she has been big trouble for the opposing team. 

She leads the team with a .479 batting average, and her on-base plus slugging is above 500. 

Cox is an especially big threat with runners in scoring position, driving in 33 runs and has produced in big spots for the Trojans. One of those big spots came in the Sectional Championship game last Saturday when Raylin drove in one to start the Trojans off in the first inning. 

She hasn’t been a slacker on the mound either. Her ERA is only 1.47 across 47 innings. Her record is 7-0 and has a WHIP of .887, striking  out 41 batters in 10 games. 

Raylin said she plays softball because of her mom.

“My mom did play in high school, and she was my coach for a little while,” Cox said. “For travel she was the assistant coach. My head coach was Brandon Beever. I loved Brandon.”

Her favorite thing about playing is being with her friends. She has very little time for hobbies outside of playing softball, basketball, and volleyball that keep her busy year round. During the summer months you can find her on the diamond playing at third base, first base or pitching for the Charleston Chill. 

“Raylin has been great for us all season,” Mayhall. “She has been excellent in the circle, pitching some huge games for us. She’s also been great at third base and firstbase when not pitching. She has been extremely consistent with her bat and is the team leader in RBIs and second in hits and average.”

“She is really good at hitting gaps,” Aubrey Hunter said.

Teammate Ava Goble added: “She is really good at getting runs in.”

Rohen Walters is an eighth-grade student at Charleston Middle School.