MACON, Ga. — The ACE Gryphons softball team is soaring through the first part of their schedule with a hot start. A big part of their success is sophomore catcher Lizzy Mitchell. 

"Lizzy has a lot of fun, she's laid-back. She doesn't get too uptight about anything. She doesn't sweat the small stuff," said coach Josh McLendon.

A cool head is the name of the game for Mitchell. The sophomore is young, but McLendon said she's a steady calm for the Lady Gryphons.

"As a sophomore, she's steady back there, she catches every inning for us, just about. Offensively, she's our three-hole hitter. She's there for a reason because she can do a lot with the bat," McLendon said.

Whether at the plate or behind it, Mitchell knows that, sophomore or not, her teammates still look to her to provide leadership.

"My responsibilities are like really kind of being a leader of the team. You know, making sure I pick people up when they get down. Just knowing that every pitch is a new play and if you make a mistake you just have to get past it," Mitchell said.

Mitchell takes the same approach in the classroom, where she boasts a 3.75 GPA. She says you have to emphasize the "student" in student athlete.

"Being a student athlete, I just think you really have to balance your grades out with your sport, and if you don't have the grades, then you really have to take a break and focus on that before you can focus on sports," she said.

Mitchell hopes balance can help her and her teammates maintain the hot streak they've opened the season with. She has plans for them to go deep into the playoffs.

"I think that we're going to go far. I have expectations for us that we'll do pretty good. We work hard a lot, and so if we just keep working hard, I think we'll go far," Mitchell said.

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