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Mizelle joins Lenoir-Rhyne

WINDSOR – She’s been playing softball since she could hold a ball.

And, despite being a high school senior, she’ll continue playing the game she loves.

Bertie High School senior Jody Mizelle officially committed to Lenoir-Rhyne University Tuesday morning where she will have the opportunity to continue her stellar playing career.

“I like the success of the softball program and I’m excited to be part of it next year,” Mizelle said during her signing. “I also like the school itself. It’s small and I think I’ll fit in.”

Mizelle has been a mainstay for the Lady Falcons, starting at shortstop all four seasons during her prep career. She has been named All-Northeastern Coastal Conference each year and was Player of the Year in 2009. League awards have not been handed out this season due to one of the school’s still be alive in post-season play.

In her four seasons, Mizelle has led Bertie to the playoffs four times including a pair of NCC championships during her freshman and junior years.

“I am proud of our team making it to the playoffs each year,” she said. “We have worked hard and I have enjoyed our success.”

Veteran BHS softball boss Jackie Copeland said Mizelle had been an integral part of her team and she would miss having her on the field.

“She has been one of the most skilled players I’ve ever coached both offensively and defensively,” Copeland said. “In fact, I’d say she has been as skilled as anyone to ever play at Bertie.

“In addition to her skill, she has a tremendous work ethic and she has learned to be a leader in the dugout,” Copeland added. “When we needed a play made, we could always count on her to make it.”

Copeland said she believed Mizelle would be successful quickly at Lenoir-Rhyne.

“She’ll do well,” the coach said. “She’s done an excellent job of learning not to get frustrated on the field no matter what happens. She is competitive and she wants her team to win, but she’s learned to focus that.”

Mizelle said one of the reasons she selected Lenoir-Rhyne was the opportunity she has to play early. She will get a chance to start at third base as a freshman and then be able to compete for the shortstop position.

“I wanted to play as a freshman,” she admitted. “I don’t want to sit on the bench. Who wants to go to college to watch others play? I want on the field.”

Mizelle has set three marks at Bertie High during her playing career. She has the highest single-season batting average (.620), the most stolen bases in a season (28) and turned the most double plays (three) in a single game.

She has also been an excellent student at Bertie as her grade point average helped her earn an academic scholarship to go with the athletic grant.

Mizelle played tennis all four seasons as well as softball. She is the third Lady Falcon to sign collegiate offers in the past three seasons joining Holly Cowan and Christie Brown, both of whom signed with Pitt Community College.

Mizelle is the daughter of Ferren and Cheryl Mizelle of Windsor.