HATTON, Ala. (WHNT) — Hatton senior pitcher and outfielder Bradyn Mitchell was determined to bring a blue map back to Hatton.
Nothing, not even taking a line drive to the shin during the championship game, was going to stop her. A gritty performance both in the circle and at the plate by Mitchell led the Hornets to their first state title since 2017.
For that, she is the Hiley Mazda Key Athlete of the Week.
“I didn’t want to let my team down. I knew that if I came out and something happened I knew that it would be on me and I didn’t want to let everybody down,” Mitchell said.
“From the minute she took the field this postseason she looked like a different version, the best version of herself, she was calm, she was a leader. To go the duration against Wicksburg 1-0 at 9 am, then to come back, have command of the game at that point and time, take the lick off the ankle… a lot of people would have counted us out, but she battled through the adversity which is a testament to her will,” Hatton softball head coach Denton Bowling said.
“She willed this team and led this team to a win because this kid turned around in this moment, on the biggest stage, and steps up and would not be denied,” Bowling added.
The championship came with plenty of adversity for Mitchell and the Hornets. Mitchell took that hit in the game one loss, then they found themselves early in game two. But Mitchell re-gained her composure, rallied her team and fought until the final out.
“I was glad that Coach Bowling had the confidence in me, that I could go out there and pitch the third game of the day. He knew that I could do it, everybody on the team believed in me, and I just wanted to make everybody proud. I just had to stay calm, let my defense work behind me,” Mitchell said.
“Well, she told me she wasn’t going to give me the ball. She started mentally getting ready and that’s when she went to war the next game. I saw the tenacity that she had shown in game one and her resilience to come back but most importantly, the look in her eye, you knew it meant something. So at that time it was an easy call for me that she got it,” Bowling added.
Mitchel was named Class 2A Tournament MVP, which really wasn’t a surprise to anyone at the game. What was surprising was when Mitchell found out that her mom Hillary was also named state tournament MVP in 1992, when the Hornets won their first state title.
“The performance that she did, it was so unlike the rest of the year. You could tell from the moment she got to the field, she was in that zone, she was there, she was going to make that happen. When they were down or needed a talking to she was there to be like OK we got this,” Hillary Mitchell said. “It was really exciting, I don’t believe I know of any other instance where a mother and daughter have gotten state championships and state MVPs together so it’s a great bond to have.”
“I just think that’s so cool, I love my mom, we have such a great bond. When she told me that I was like ‘ain’t no way’ but honestly I’m proud of her for that, I know that she’s proud of me,” Bradyn Mitchell added.
Now as Mitchell prepares for her next steps, she couldn’t be more grateful for this storybook ending.
“I’m amazed at all of the hard work that’s paid off. We’ve been wishing for this ever since we were younger and we’ve actually done it. There’s really no better way I mean it’s just amazing,” Mitchell said.
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