If you watch Wasco junior Samantha Martinez pitch, you wouldn't know it, but she's playing out of position. "She really dislikes pitching but coming from Wasco, a little small community, she's gotta be an athlete," said Nacho Martinez, Wasco's assistant coach and Samantha's father.
"Sometimes it's good because of the wins," Samantha said. "But the losses aren't so good." This year she hasn't had to worry about the latter because all the Tigers do lately is win. Samantha has pitched to a 19-5 record with a 2.47 ERA and 126 strikeouts. But her biggest win came last week over Taft-the first time Taft lost in a league game since 2010.
"That was my first goal, try to get league," said 3 year head coach Sonia Wedel. "We've got a piece of it right now. That was a big accomplishment." Incredibly the last time Wasco beat Taft Samantha's older sister Alyssa was on the team. Now she's at San Jose State and just won the Iron Sparta Award, recognized as the universities' hardest worker.
But more on Samantha's season. She currently leads the South Sequoia League in wins and strikeouts and partially has her catcher to thank. "She frames really good so that helps," she said. If it sounds like Samantha's downplaying the relationship with her catcher it's because it's her older sister Korina.
"Everybody thinks it might be cool, might be nice, but at times we have a little family feud out there," said Mr. Martinez. While they may have their differences, Korina thinks their bond helps them to get wins. "I've seen her, I've caught her through all the pitching lessons," said Korina. "I know what her ball's going to do no matter what it does."
Wasco has a chance to share the league title with Taft if both teams can close out the regular season with a win. The Tigers play Shafter tomorrow at 4:00 P.M.
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