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story.lead_photo.caption Joley Mitchell receives the All-Arkansas Preps softball player of the year award Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

The Rose Bud Lady Ramblers were glad to have Joley Mitchell on their side for the past four seasons.

The senior third baseman set a single-season state record in 2019 with 85 runs scored as she helped lead Rose Bud to their second state championship in four seasons.

At a glance

SCHOOL Rose Bud

CLASS Senior

POSITION Third baseman

NOTEWORTHY Batted .717 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and 85 runs scored. … Led Rose Bud to the Class 3A state championship. … Hit a state-record 58 home runs in her career.

Mitchell batted .717 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and 85 runs scored. She had 38 extra-base hits, stole 34 bases and drew 33 walks.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has named Mitchell, who will play at Notre Dame, as the All-Arkansas Preps Softball Player of the Year.

Rose Bud Coach Scotty Starkey enjoyed having Mitchell in his program.

"It's been a blast," Starkey said. "I've never seen a player like her, much less coached a player like her. She's made everyone around her better. She's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen."

Rose Bud finished 35-1 and won the Class 3A state championship in May with a 7-3 victory over Genoa Central at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. Mitchell hit a two-run home run in the state final that extended the Lady Ramblers' lead to 6-3.

"I was proud to see the progress we made," said Mitchell, who's the state's all-time home run leader with 58. "We stuck together as a team."

In addition to playing for Rose Bud, Mitchell also plays for the New Jersey Intensity travel team. The travel team has six tournaments this summer, which Mitchell will be a part of before heading to Notre Dame in late August.

Rose Bud is 123-16 over the past four seasons under Starkey, in part because of players such as Mitchell, Gracie Hartle and Hope Hartle.

"They love the game," Starkey said. "They play it year-round. Everybody as a whole, they buy into what we're trying to do and what we're trying to accomplish. They always get along. They might have some disagreements. But they'll go to bat for one another."

Starkey said he believed Mitchell could be a special player when she was in the seventh grade, which was when Rose Bud began its junior high softball program.

"The rest is history," Starkey said.

When she was a freshman, Mitchell committed to Missouri. However, Mitchell changed her mind and after a visit to Notre Dame last summer, she orally committed to the Fighting Irish in September and officially signed in November.

Just over a month after her final game with the Lady Ramblers, Mitchell has had time to reflect on her time in Rose Bud, which she said she enjoyed.

"We made some good memories while we were there," Mitchell said. "I've made so many friends the last 13 years at Rose Bud. We're one big, happy family."

Sports on 06/23/2019

Print Headline: Third baseman dominant in '19

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