The Pacific Index

Freshman makes impact early in season

Luke Olson, Sports Editor

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The Pacific University softball team has a freshman standout this season, and her name is Nicole Martinez. The Yorba Linda, Calif. product is already making an impact in her first season as a Boxer, playing all twenty games this year, batting .388 and leading the team with 26 hits.

Not only does Martinez have a hot bat, but she has speed on the base paths. She leads the team with 12 steals in her 13 attempts. Also, she has crossed home 20 times for the Boxers, which also leads the team with the next closest teammate at 17.

During the Boxers trip to Tucson, Ariz., Martinez was awarded to the NFCA DIII Leadoff Classic All- Tournament Team. The speedy outfielder would hit .368 in the tournament that included seven hits and a couple runs batted in (RBI). Again, she would show her speed, recording six stolen bases in their six games played. She helped the team to a 4-2 record over the trip.

Martinez was also awarded Boxer Club Athlete of the Month for February, the first of possibly many to come in her young career.

With so many accolades early on, Martinez is grateful for the success and recognition so far. She credits her teammates and coaches for all of it.

“I feel very honored and humbled about what I have received this season,” the first- year outfielder said. “It is really nice seeing my hard work paying off .”

Playing collegiately your first year can be a big change for some. However Martinez has picked up where she left off after her successful career in high school. She was First Team CIF Division I her senior year, Crestview League Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Crestview both her junior and senior seasons.

“The game is a lot faster at this level,” Martinez said. “The players are just overall better.”

For the team, they started the season 6-0. After a March 11 win over Pacific Lutheran University, the Boxers stood 11-3. This past weekend, the Boxers took a hit, dropping the weekend series against George Fox University. Monday, they would split the double-header against Willamette, sitting 12-10, 6-6 in the Northwest Conference (NWC).

At this point last season, the Boxers stood 5-15 overall, 3-7 NWC. You could say Martinez has made an impact to the team’s success mid-way through the season. But, she credits her teammates and the support of one another.

“I think we have done a really good job at supporting each other and keeping the energy up the whole game,” Martinez said. “It has allowed us to win some tough games.”

Martinez and the Boxers will face off with Puget Sound Loggers this weekend in Forest Grove.

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Freshman makes impact early in season