After she helped Orange Beach to a third consecutive softball state title, freshman Ava Hodo was recently recognized by MaxPreps on their Underclass All-American first team.
The Mako catcher and …
The Mako catcher and third baseman was one of 30 freshmen and sophomores named to the nationwide squad and was one of three Alabamians honored. Sophomore Leighton Arnold from White Plains joined Hodo on the first team and sophomore Lilly Bethune from West Limestone was on the second team.
Also this summer, Extra Inning Softball updated their prospect rankings for the Class of 2026 and Hodo moved up to No. 1. She had previously been ranked the top recruit in her class by Legacy and Legends Softball.
“There are a lot of great players in the 2026 class, but the number of club coaches who believe Ava is the top player in her class at this point was impressively strong,” wrote Brentt Eads in Extra Inning Softball’s player profile. “Said one coach outside the Bolts organization: ‘Ava is an amazing player and excels on both sides of the ball.’ And he, like dozens of others we surveyed, had the athlete as tops in the 2026 class."
Hodo was also named to the first-team all-state by the Alabama Sports Writers Association for a second straight season this spring. Her freshman campaign saw her compile a .453 batting average with 68 hits (14 doubles, 5 triples, 21 home runs), 75 RBIs and a 1.580 OPS. Her RBIs ranked 10th in the nation on MaxPreps’ leaderboards and her home runs were the 22nd most in the country.
According to MaxPreps’ stats from her last two seasons, Hodo has recorded a .485 batting average across 268 at-bats with 130 hits (31 doubles, 6 triples, 30 home runs), 128 RBIs, 67 runs scored and a 1.550 OPS. Hodo played 96 games defensively where she registered a fielding percentage of .991 with 495 putouts and 29 assists across 529 total chances.
The Orange Beach standout wasn’t the only Baldwin County softball player recognized by MaxPreps after Fairhope’s Ryley Harrison, ASWA’s Miss Softball, was an All-American second-team selection. The two-way starter helped the Pirates back to the Class 7A state finals where they earned a second Red Map trophy in three years.
While not looking too far ahead, after her third state championship with still three years of high school remaining, Hodo acknowledged the chance to earn six state titles in her varsity career following the city's welcome celebration.