Peyton Mitchell started playing softball at the age of nine at Brown Mill Recreation Center. Now, almost a decade later, Mitchell signed to play softball on a scholarship to Savannah State University Tuesday afternoon surrounded by friends and family.
"When I went there, the team was nice and it wasn't too big or too small. It's an HBCU and that's what I want to go to," Mitchell said.
Mitchell thanked all of her softball coaches through the years for helping to get her where she is today. Mitchell said SSU was in her top three and she was said it felt really good that she has the opportunity to go there.
"They said I'm a (good) power hitter and they liked the way I was carrying myself. They liked how I was talking to the players and being engaged," Mitchell said.
Mitchell added that SSU said they needed a 2015 catcher and they think she can be that person.
Although he's only had one year with her, Salem softball coach Bobby Link said Mitchell was a quality catcher, person and student-athlete.
"Great kid. She's a great leader, a very quiet leader. She prepared herself very well," Link said.
Link added that, unofficially, Mitchell probably is a career .400 hitter, something he realized she could do the moment he saw her.
"She just started coming into her own when it came to swinging the bat and hitting extra-base hits. We knew she could hit. I knew she could hit when I saw her, she's a very good hitter," Link said.
LaTasha Canty, Mitchell's mom, got her daughter into travel ball at the age of 11 and says that Mitchell was a part of a great group of girls, playing for the Browns Mill Lady Jackets.
"She played so well. She started hitting them out, she'd go through little slumps but she'd stay in there," Canty said.
Canty said that she realized her daughter could possibly play college ball when she started high school.
"She volunteered to be the catcher. She had never caught in her life. So I said, ‘If you want me to get you lessons I will.' So from then on after 10th grade, she had been the lead catcher since then. So I was like, ‘I think we might be able to ride this out with something,'" Canty said.
Canty was in awe Tuesday afternoon at Mitchell's signing. She was so proud of her daughter.
"It's her next step. It's her next journey. I've watched her, I think she's a great kid. She's a really fun-spirited girl. So I'm hoping that when she goes to school she will stay focused. Softball has been a big part of her life. Sometimes we'd have to say, ‘You can't play if you're not going to do the work.' That kind of thing kept her motivated," Canty said. "So I'm hoping that when she goes to school that will keep her motivated. That'll keep her structured so that she won't get into too many other things, but enjoy college at the same time because I really enjoyed it. I've always put in her head once you go to college you won't want to come back home." Salem catcher, Peyton Mitchell, has signed a scholarship to play softball for Savannah State University. MItchell was a standout hitter for Salem and has been holding down the position since her sophomore year. For a full story, check out or Saturday edition of The Rockdale News.