Mitchell continues strong sophomore season

Kat Christian, Contributing Writer

Called “Brick House” by her teammates, Eastern sophomore softball player Haley Mitchell has had a successful two years in her collegiate softball career.

In the 2016-2017 season as a freshman, Mitchell was named the EIU Female Newcomer of the Year.

“It was a really amazing feeling,” Mitchell said. “I was honestly surprised getting it with such amazing athletes, not only my teammates, but in the conference as well.”

That same season she also was named to the Second Team All-Conference, All-OVC Newcomer and Second Team All-Midwest Teams.

Mitchell has improved her game to where she is now not only in the batting lineup, but now has earned a spot on the field.

“Last year I was a decent hitter and I wasn’t really playing the field,” Mitchell said. “This year I have improved my hitting a lot more and am now first baseman.”

Eastern’s first baseman has a batting average of .438 and 39 RBIs this season.

Kim Schuette, Eastern softball’s coach, said Mitchell is a smart hitter.

“(She) knows her role on this team and is always looking to help the team at that moment. Haley is really seeing the ball and honestly ready to drive every pitch they throw,” Schuette said.

Just as a sophomore, Mitchell has stepped up in her role and, ‘is absolutely one of the leaders, more of in a mother hen, protector and organizer way.’

Megan Burton, Mitchell’s teammate and freshman starter, said Mitchell is a great teammate and a key asset to the team.

Mitchell has become a great hitter because of her drive and work ethic. She comes from a very sports-oriented family.

“My dad and I used to have a saying. That was, ‘a bucket a day keeps the strikeouts away, three buckets a day and it’s bombs away,” she said.

What Mitchell means by “buckets,” is that she hits at least three buckets of softballs about four times a week. This saying has been helpful to her because she has hit eight home runs this season.

Her team goals for the rest of the spring are to continue growing together and to work toward an OVC conference championship.

Kat Christian can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]