“That’s the type of kid she is,” Mitchell said of Cox. “Whatever you ask her to do, she steps up and puts in the work to get it done.”
Other eighth-grade players on the 2013 Lady Faclons included shortstop and power hitter Taryn Howard, third baseman Sydney Shelton, outfielders Lynnsey Davis and Laurynn Chavarria and utility runner Tyra Irving. With a younger group of pitchers expected next year, Mitchell said she expects seventh-grade catcher Carly Cox and second baseman Erin Kelley to be leaders next year.
“Did an excellent job behind the plate,” Mitchell said of Cox. “I couldn’t ask any more out of that kid.
“Every year, I feel like we have holes. But every year, my girls step up and fill them.”
A former Frink-Chambers and Savanna High School graduate herself, Mitchell has coached at Frink for 26 years. Her softball program has turned out numerous quality high school softball players, including former McAlester and current University of Oklahoma pitcher Taylor Dewbery, current McAlester pitcher Cheyenne Selman, current Savanna pitcher Bryn Houlton and current Stuart catcher Kayla Smith.
“I try to give them the skills they need for the next level,” Mitchell said. “That’s my ultimate goal, and I’ve told them every year I’ll lose every state championship if they’ll go on to high school and win it.”
Mitchell said her team’s continued success wouldn’t be possible without parental support. She said many of the players’ fathers serve as assistant coaches, while mothers regularly provide snacks and help with organization.
“Our community parents there at Frink-Chambers, they raise us,” Mitchell said. “They take us under their wings.”
Mitchell also coaches junior-high girls’ basketball and boys’ and girls’ track, plus some elementary boys’ and girls’ basketball. Also a preschool and early-elementary physical educationt eacher, Mitchell often starts working with her athletes very early in their development and works with them almost year-round, as the same girls playing softball usually go on to play basketball and run track.