It's now official, Chester senior softball player Miah Mitchell is a Mizzou Tiger.
Mitchell, who made a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri prior to her junior year, signed an official letter-of-intent to play for the school during a short ceremony on Nov. 8 at Chester High School.
"It was something different," Mitchell said on why she chose Mizzou over Southeast Missouri State, South Dakota State and other colleges that showed interest. "I think it was more of an original decision.
"You don't see many people (around here) going to Mizzou, and so I wanted to be a little out-of-the-box and do something not many people say they can do it."
The Tigers recently completed their fall ball schedule, completing an 8-0 record during the month of October, including producing 28 runs in a win over North Central.
During her interview with reporters, Mitchell spoke highly of the Mizzou program and her eagerness to work with Mizzou coach Ehren Earleywine.
"I adore my coaches," she said. "(Earleywine)'s mean, he's going to give it to you how it is, he doesn't sugarcoat it.
"He's much like (Chester coach) Tracy (Colvis), never sugarcoats anything, will tell you how it is and I appreciate coaches like that."
Mitchell earned All-South and All-Black Diamond Conference honors while playing center field for the Lady Yellow Jackets last season, and batted .466 with eight home runs, 23 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Chester finished 12-11 and lost to eventual state fourth-place finisher Pinckneyville in the semifinals of the Class 2A Regional.
She verballed to the Tigers after a 2016 sophomore season in which she batted .516 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs, striking out only once in 93 at-bats.
"I'm really happy for Miah," Colvis said. "I've watched her play ball since she was 6 years old and have coached her ever since.
"This has been a dream of hers and she set a goal and she's worked real hard for it and it's nice to see her achieve something she set out to do."
Mitchell was asked if the Tigers' coaching staff had told her where she might fit in on the field once she arrives in Columbia. Mizzou will be very young next spring with only one senior - infielder Paige Bange - on a roster of 26 players.
"I was always told this: 'if you can hit you can play,'" she said. "You'll find a spot on defense and that's how I'm going to impress (my coaches).
"I'm going to show them I can hit and then, of course work on my defense, but I want to prove myself. I'm not going to walk on there and expect a spot."
Mitchell was asked what her academic plans are.
"I would like to study Health Science and then do something in the medical field," she said. "I would like to enlist after college and be a medic for the military.
"You know, blood and guts, and every time I tell people that they're like 'Ew, why would you do that?' But it's something very interesting to me."
The 2018 IHSA softball season starts Feb. 26. Games can begin the week of March 12.