By Dulce Carillo
It all happened at a high school softball tournament in East Los Angeles College where the softball coaches encouraged a young pitcher to try out for the team. Janessa Martinez, 19, is one of the softball team’s starting pitchers.
Her coaches consider her a consistent player. When out of the field, the team looks comfortable when Martinez is up on the mound. “Work hard” is what Martinez believes doing in everything she does. Whether it’s from the mound or on the books at school, working hard is her key point to success.
Martinez was raised in Long Beach and that’s where she started her softball career at 7 years old in park leagues. Before entering high school, she would play as a second baseman.
When she entered Cabrillo High School, her pitching career began. “The team wasn’t so great but I still loved to play with them,” Martinez said.
Before high school ended, Martinez didn’t think she would continue playing softball. During her senior year and her last season of high school softball, the team participated in a tournament that was taking place at ELAC.
Before the tournament, Martinez wasn’t looking forward to going. She had decided to not go, until the last minute she decided to go. Martinez pitched well and the team did a great job.
Martinez didn’t know that the ELAC coaches were going to be there. After her games, Martinez was asked to try out by the softball coaches. Even though she was planning to go to Long Beach City College and try out for the team as well, Martinez considered on trying out for the ELAC softball team.
After having a long summer workout, Martinez came through, even if she didn’t have much experience on pitching like the other girls that tried out. “Work hard for your spot” was how Martinez managed to become part of the softball team.
Once making it on the team, Martinez learned a lot of techniques in pitching which got her to love softball more.
“Fake it until you make it” and “Play 7 innings” are continual sayings that the coaches tell the team before their games.
Martinez wants to major in nursing or school psychology. She believes that helping others is a great job because it makes you feel great that you made a difference in someone else’s life. This is her last season playing community college softball. She hopes to continue playing at the university she attends.