Spectators see a speedy outfielder wearing purple jersey No. 13, but there is much more to Linfield senior Jordan Mixsell than what meets the eye.
In the heart of Mixsell’s fourth season of softball, Wildcats head coach Jackson Vaughan speaks to her personality and strong work ethic.
“Jordan is serious about doing well in whatever she does. She wants things to be done right and won’t settle for less.”
Those who know Mixsell well see the same strength of character in every area of her life.
“Everyone who knows her, respects her,” teammate Ashley Garcia (Sr., Beaveton, Ore.) adds. “She’s really studious and driven.”
By all reports, the longtime softball player from Samammish, Wash., is highly motivated. “I’ve been playing softball seriously since I was 10 and started focusing on that more and more in high school,” Mixsell says. “I knew I wanted to play ball in college.”
Obviously, her hard work has paid off. Now, she has earned herself a slot in the starting lineup of Linfield’s star-studded team.
“I know I get to play alongside some of the country’s best softball players and coaches every day,” Mixsell says.
Vaughan remembers that playing the outfield didn’t come as easily to her as it did to some of this year’s other veterans.
“She came in as a backup catcher her freshman and sophomore years. Then shared some time in right field as a junior, had a great run in the playoffs last year, and, now, it’s been her spot from Day 1.”
Mixsell’s senior season has been full of career moments. Her .315 batting average includes a timely, two-run homer during the Wildcats’ emotional April Fool’s Day victory over Northwest Conference rival Pacific Lutheran that earned her conference player of the week honors for the first time.
“Jordan works harder than anyone else on the team,” says shortstop Katy Brosig (Sr., Forest Grove, Ore.). “She’s one of the most focused, determined people I know.”
She’s learned to laugh at herself a little over the last few seasons, Vaughan noted, while emerging one of the team’s leaders. “She’s not afraid of big moments.”
“I thrive under pressure,” Mixsell says. “I’ve played sports my whole life. I just love the competition.”
Linfield’s softball team, the defending NCAA Division III national champion, is nothing if not competitive.
“This program is unique. Everybody brings their best every single day, and it makes me want to play with and be around these girls,” Mixsell says.
“The way our team works together keeps bringing me back. This program is important to me, and I love these girls like they’re my family.”
Mixsell (pronounced MIKE-sul) says her mother and father have always been a big part of her life and her athletic pursuits. “My parents have been really supportive over the years, and they come down for every game, every weekend. I know it’s a long trip, but I feel like I play better when they’re there in the stands.
“Their support means a lot and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Her dad, Greg, is an especially important part of her life, she says. “He’s like my best friend.”
Because of his career as a homicide and cold case detective, his daughter is now aiming toward a career in law enforcement herself. “At first, I wanted to go to law school to become a prosecutor, but then I decided I’d rather catch the criminals.”
Once she graduates in May, Mixsell hopes to work in the finance industry, with investments or bank regulation, preferably as an FBI special agent in counter-terrorism or fighting white-collar crime.
“A lot of what (the FBI does) is tracking money, so my degree will be really applicable,” Mixsell says.
As a double major in mass communication and finance, Mixsell talks excitedly about a recent January term course that took her to the New York Stock Exchange, further heightening her interest in economics. “We made some great connections. There are some good options for me there as an investment analyst, too.”
“Whatever she goes into, she’ll do well,” Vaughan says confidently.
If this Wildcat fights crime as well as she plays softball, competitors and criminals alike had better watch out.
-- Lexy Chapman '15