Martinez a leader on and off the softball field
Mike Neville – Sports Editor
From being an opposing figure on the pitching mound to a key member of Athletes Fighting Injustice, senior softball pitcher Jasmyn Martinez has left her mark on the Southern community.
Raised in Middletown New York, the discovery of Martinez was almost accidental in the words of head coach Jillian Rispoli.
“We originally went to one of her games to scout her teammate, but we were so impressed with her game that we decided to take a closer look,” said Rispoli.
The decision for Martinez to come to Southern was not just based on softball but on the energy that the community gave off.
“The diversity about the school reminded me a lot of home, the school really prides itself on social justice and felt like a great fit for me,” said Martinez.
Beginning playing softball at the age of five, Martinez attributes her brother as a driving force of her game.
“Growing up my biggest influencer was my brother, I wanted to make him proud, he’s always led by example,” said Martinez. “I wanted to show him he was a great role model and great big brother growing up.”
Martinez took her brother’s teachings to heart and has become a campus leader in her own right.
Besides being an athlete, Martinez is very involved with AFI and a polarizing voice in the athletic department.
“When our athletic department was hosting a forum on racial injustice, I was one of first to sign up,” said Martinez. “After the forum I said I would love to plan something in the future, from there we created AFI.”
Each member of AFI is an athlete and Martinez said it is a great opportunity to speak on social justice issues.
Martinez has also been an important teammate and has influenced the likes of Cailey Botteon to be her very best self.
“She has definitely made me a better athlete and always encourages me to go above and beyond,” said Botteon. “She is always a very positive person and motivates us all.”
For Rispoli, the signing of Martinez panned out very well as she has had a very successful career in Southern.
“Her fastball and changeup are absolutely filthy,” said Rispoli. “We see her as being an ace of the team and someone who can start and finish games.”
Rispoli also said that she could see Martinez in the infield also and a huge part of an already staked Owls’ lineup.
“We have a great pitching staff. We have another returner who will also be vital to this season and freshmen who have been putting in during the fall and over break so I’m excited for this season and what we can do,” said Martinez.
She said that she is confident that they are going to have a great season and go out and try her best for herself and the team.
Entering what would be her final season and final year at Southern, Martinez has a lot to be grateful for from what the University has taught her.
“Southern has taught me that everyone will have your back if they agree or disagree with you,” said Martinez. “We are always going to be here for each other in the end.”