Feb. 7, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Sometimes the best things that can happen to a team are not planned and expected. Such is the case with freshman mid-semester transfer Meredith Mitchell, a four-year letterwinner from Sequatchie County High School in Dunlap, Tenn., and fellow rookie Mary Beth Smith, an all-around player from Elon, N.C.
In the fall of 2012, Mitchell was attending Chattanooga State Community College (Tenn.) and nowhere to be found on ECU’s campus. Smith, while on the roster, was overcoming health issues and not able to practice or workout with the program during the fall.
“Softball is a sport where everything is very carefully planned and recruiting is taking place earlier and earlier in a player’s career, so it is inspiring to have these under-the-radar type student-athletes such as Mary Beth and Meredith just fall into our laps, so to speak,” said head coach Beth Keylon-Randolph.
Mitchell, a speedy player that will patrol the outfield for the Pirates, was a First Team All-District 7-AA selection in each of her high school years. As a senior, she hit .477 with 57 runs scored, 33 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 43 games. With a strong skill set that includes the ability to run, hit, field and throw, she will be an important part of the ECU softball program over the next four seasons.
According to Keylon-Randolph, Mitchell is the sort of softball player that can often be overlooked because of a variety of reasons, but are crucial for a successful team.
“Meredith is a tremendous competitor with excellent speed and it shows as she runs out each hit with maximum effort and consistently tracks down balls hit in the gaps,” stated Keylon-Randolph. “She is enthusiastic and passionate about the game, has the talents to make a difference and the intangibles to be a champion. She is a welcome addition to the team and a joy to watch play every day.”
“To start the second semester, Mary Beth has shown with improved health that she has the athletic ability to play the game of softball at a very high level, as both a pitcher and in the outfield,” said Keylon-Randolph. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have her as part of the program.”
Keylon-Randolph and the rest of the Pirate softball program are indeed happy for the unplanned late additions of both Smith and Mitchell to bolster the team’s roster this season and in the years to come.