Bluejackets fall to Salem 4-2 on Senior Night

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – In their second to last home game of the season, Mitchell High School used the evening to honor the team’s two senior players, Page Mullis and Alyssa Young, before their matchup against Salem, which resulted in a 4-2 loss for the Bluejackets.

Mitchell head coach Christa Mullis spoke about both players and what they’ve meant to the program, saying Young has been a bright spot for the team, both on and off the field.

In her senior season, Young has posted a team-high .333 batting average, earning 20 hits and 10 RBIs.

Alyssa Young follows a fly ball after a swing against Salem

“She played her freshman year and came back for her senior year, and she was kind of not sure if she wanted to, and I’m telling you, that girl has come up huge with her bat so many times. She’s been our designated player more often than playing the field, but here recently she’s been playing some first base for us. She has just absolutely come in clutch for us this year,” said Mullis.

“I’m so glad she came back to the game, so I’m glad she’s having a good time with it. Out of all the kids, she probably brings one of the biggest smiles to my face. She wasn’t going to play and she did come back to play and I’m really happy that she did.”

Senior night is normally an emotional time for coaches and teams, as they bid a ceremonial farewell to their graduating players. That feeling is amplified when one of the players is also the daughter of the head coach, as is the case for coach Christa Mullis and her daughter Page Mullis.

Mullis has played for the program as a starter during all four of her years at Mitchell. During that time, she has earned two PLAC all-conference nods and two Defensive Player of the Year awards. This season, she has a batting average of .328, with 20 hits and 10 RBIs.

“She’s my daughter, so it’s a little bit personal,” Mullis said. “We’ve been pretty proud of that kid. She’s been a big bat. She’s been a great defensive addition to this team, and a great leader this year. Keeping everybody up, just being positive. It’s not always easy being the coach’s kid and she’s done a pretty pretty flawlessly. Overall, she’s a pretty good kid and I’m pretty proud of her.”

Page Mullis looks to throw a runner out after fielding a ground ball

Against the Lions, the Bluejackets got off to a hot start, taking an early two-run lead, largely led by their two seniors. Mullis began the game as the lead-off hitter, drawing a walk. She was advanced to third courtesy of a double from Young, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly from Davaney Roop.

In the next few at-bats, Mitchell proceeded to load up the bases for Paisley Modglin, who singled to center field to score Young from third.

Salem gained some momentum in the third. They started the inning off by getting their first three batters on base with two walks and a hit.

With the bags loaded, the Bluejackets were able to record two straight outs without allowing a run, nearly finding their way out of the jam unscathed, but the Lions were able to score three runs before the end of the frame, thanks to an RBI from senior Madi Akers and a few defensive miscues from Mitchell, taking a 3-2 lead.

Salem scored again in the next inning when Gabby Hypes slammed a double to left field, bringing home courtesy runner Keira Voyles.

Paisley Modglin swings at a pitch against Salem

After their strong showing to start the game, Mitchell struggled to earn hits, adding just one more, a single from Young in the second inning, until they found themselves with their backs against the wall in the bottom of the seventh.

“We got up on top, we started hitting the ball and kind of finding some gaps and just hitting the ball and got our confidence going a little bit and then we kind of got our heads down a little bit, and these girls struggle a little bit with that,” Mullis said.

“It feels like they get up and then they just lose that confidence for a little bit and then we end up in our own way and sometimes it goes well for us and sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight it didn’t go well for us,”

Karsyn Coleman throws a pitch against Salem. She pitched a complete game, striking out four and giving up two earned runs

They managed to get the tying runners in scoring position on second and third, thanks to a base hit from Mullis and a walk from Roop, with a ground out from Emma Chastain advancing them.

Ultimately, they weren’t able to bring them home before the third out was recorded, but the Bluejackets’ coach commended their effort to stay in the game despite the early adversity.

“They played until the end, which is all I could’ve ever asked for from them,” she said. “We’re very young and very inexperienced. So, when we compete in these games that’s what I’m proud of. They fight until the very end. They don’t give up. But, they’re learning, they’re gaining from it every time. I feel like every time, I see something different and I see improvement somewhere. And tonight, I mean, their communication was better. Our outfield was working their butts off,” Mullis continued.