Even though Bailey Mitchell is looking forward to playing softball at Quincy University, the Geneseo High School senior feels a loss at missing so much of this softball season with her high school teammates.
Mitchell, daughter of Pat and Nancy Mitchell, has signed to play at Quincy University, which is a Division II program where her practices will begin late this summer in preparation for the fall softball season. She plans to major in Historical Studies.
Even though she has participated in a variety of sports, Mitchell said, “Softball is definitely my favorite sport, not only because it is an amazing sport to play, but also because of the memories that you get to make while playing. Softball is fun, but it is really about the people involved. I have met so m any new people and made some of my best friends through softball. The countless memories I have made with them I wouldn’t trade for anything. Plus, it also feels pretty good when you hit a ball over the fence.”
During the regular softball season Mitchell primarily plays in the outfield, but when needed, she also can step onto the pitcher’s mound.
“I am really hoping that IHSA is able to come up with a plan that will allow for some sort of a season when the quarantine is over, even if it carries into the summer,” she added. “I know a lot of us would be extremely grateful to be able to play a final season, no mater how long. I am very disappointed that the season I have been working toward since I was six years old hasn’t exactly been what I though it would be, and what I have been looking forward to for so many years. However, as I said before, I am still holding on to the hope for a season because at this point even just getting to play one last game with my teammates would be a blessing.”
“Having played with most of the same girls since a very early age has deepened our friendships which go very deep because we have so many memories together of both good and bad times. We’ve been through so much together that has brought us closer over the years and it has been extremely difficult to not have gotten to play with them these past few weeks, even more so with the prospect that our last game together could have been last year and we didn’t even know it.”
She said, “I would not be where I am without my teammates, they have helped me with so much and I know they will always be there for me.”
Even though Mitchell is aware there may not be a 2020 high school softball season, she continues to do what she can to be ready if it does happen. “I am trying my best to get out on the  iamonds as much as I can to get in outfielding, pitching, and hitting practice so that I don't fall too far behind for whenever I get to play again,” she said. “I am also making sure to get workouts in at least four times a week in my basement, doing the best I can with the limited equipment that I have so I don’t’ lose the work that I’ve done over the winter to prepare for our season.”

She feels “blessed” that she has not had any major injuries during her athletic career, with the exception of sprained ankles and turf toe, “which set me out for a couple of months,” she said.
Mitchell’s high school softball experience has been unique with her dad, Pat Mitchell, as one of the coaches.
“It has definitely been an experience, both good and bad at times, but I wouldn’t change it because it has helped me grow as a person, a softball player and a leader,” she said. “Having him as my coach really made us grow closer together because it gave us a connection. However, when it comes to actually coaching me on the field with the rest of the team, he lets the other coaches work with me and coach me so that we don’t run into any conflicts, LOL.”