The monthly award was created to recognize the university’s student-athletes who have thrived, not only on the playing fields but also in the classroom and the community.
“It’s very humbling,” said the former Abbey Meixel, who last month celebrated her one-year anniversary with her husband, Cherokee classmate Bradley Mixon. “It’s nice to know everything you do doesn’t go unnoticed.
For longtime Kennesaw State softball coach Scott Whitlock, a better representative than Mixon could not have been picked.
“She’s just a way cool kid,” Whitlock said of the senior. “I’ve seen her GPA get better every semester.”
An early childhood education major, Mixon currently has a 3.4 grade-point average and is completing her student-teaching this semester.
Whitlock said it has been a special time to watch Mixon grow up, both on and off the field.
“I’ve known her for many years,” said Whitlock, who also mentored Mixon’s high school coach, Tonya Carlisle, at Kennesaw State. “I think I’ve seen her have more personal growth in college than anyone I’ve ever known.”
Mixon donates time to a number of causes, including the Junior Owls Reading Program, MUST Ministries and Golden Soldiers. As a Relay for Life captain, she also aids the Alexis Kaiser Foundation and the related Lexi’s Night, an annual event the KSU softball team hosts to raise money for children with special needs.
In addition to all the volunteer work, Mixon also found time to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic in September 2011.
“We went down there to help a pastor rebuild his house after it was damaged by a flood,” she said.
On the field, Mixon is coming off a 2012 season in which she was a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference all-tournament Team, finishing the year 11-8 with a 2.24 ERA. In 30 games —22 starts — she struck out 137, had eight complete games, recorded three saves and led the team with four shutouts.
“No. 99 is a big part of what we do,” Whitlock said, referring to Mixon’s familiar jersey number, which she’s held since her time at Cherokee. “She’s a leader. She’s conscious of, and conscientious of, her teammates. She makes us a better ballclub.”
Mixon has even bigger plans for 2013. That begins with getting her ERA under 2.00, as well as cutting down on the eight home runs she allowed last year.
“I don’t want to leave anything out there,” Mixon said about her senior season. “I want to do whatever helps us win another ring.”