Softball’s Alexis Martinez eyes possible 2014 return

State Hornet Staff

Some of those who are closely affiliated with Sacramento State softball did not believe that freshman designated player and third baseman Alexis Martinez was going to come back from her freak accident last season.

The accident happened last year when Martinez and junior outfielder Nicole Clark were doing a pop fly drill in the outfield and the two collided; Clark slid taking out Martinez’s legs.

Martinez tore her ACL, MCL and a MPFL, she spent five months of preliminary rehabilitation before she received surgery on her knee in June.

She spent most of the five months rehabbing at the Results Therapy facility on 9500 Micron Ave., with physical therapist Kyle Yamashiro. Yamashiro, works with a lot of other injured athletes at Sac State.

“Kyle was helpful with me during those five months to stay motivated and to push through the pain,” Martinez said.

Yamashiro spent most of their time bending the knee and making the knee more flexible. After her surgery Martinez dealt with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting.

Ting is the team physician of the San Jose Sharks and is apart of the Fremont Sports Therapy and Surgery Center that deals with Oakland Raiders and other Bay Area professional sports.

At the time of the injury, Martinez started six of seven games and was hitting .294 with one homerun and three RBIs. Martinez’s batting average, still ranked fourth best last season for the Hornets although her season was cut short..

A big reason why her average was the fourth best behind junior right fielder Paige Martin and former Hornets Emily McCormick and Kelli Frye, was because of her father, Alan Martinez. Alan was her longtime coach as a child.

It was then when Alan would teach his daughter to be tough and to do the little things to continue to get better.

At the time of the injury last season, Alan was mad that his daughter’s season was over before it could even get started.

“When I heard that she was injured last season, it tore me up because we had worked so hard every single day over the years together on her game,” Alan Martinez said. “I just couldn’t believe that her season was cut so early.”

Once Alexis came back home for the winter break, her dad helped get the timing of her swing and power back in her swing.

Alan Martinez said it was something they have done ever since she was younger.

“I kept her busy to keep working on her hitting when she was with me,” Martinez said.

During the five months of the season and the spring semester, Martinez’s teammates would help getting her to school and to the trainer’s office at Sac State.

However, two of her teammates, sophomores cather Kortney Solis and second baseman Kayla Papez, would often make sure Martinez was taken care off every day before and after school.

Martinez said the friendship between the three of them has bloomed to a great relationship before and after the injury and surgery.

“The both of them helped me out a lot with things that I could not do on my own,” Martinez said. “If it was not for them I would have had a hard time getting around to even go to school.”

The friendship between Papez and Martinez started in the first month of the fall of their freshman year. It was something that developed over time as the two got to know each other from hanging out.

Papez said it was more of a natural reaction to help a friend and teammate in need of help.

“Alexis and I were close before she was injured last season,” Papez said. “I wanted to help her as much as I could because we were so close as friends.”

Both Papez and Martinez stayed in close contact throughout the summer and winter break. In fact, Martinez and Papez were together for the news from the doctor.

Now that Alexis Martinez is back and practicing, head coach Lori Perez will most likely have Martinez at the designated player position. Martinez said she is excited to get this season started.

“I just want to be 100 percent already,” Martinez said.

The freshman’s season debut may be as soon as this upcoming weekend at the Fresno Season kickoff tournament on Feb.15-17.

Clifton Jones can be reached on Twitter @SH_Sports