Every year in November, athletes from all around the nation sign National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and sports careers in college. During signing day this year, Madison Martinez, Lemoore High School senior, was one of those athletes who had a dream come true when she signed her name to a letter of intent to continue her softball career at Sonoma State University.

“The environment with the coaching staff and players was amazing. It’s close to home where my family can come to watch me play and the weather is beautiful, I cannot wait!” Martinez said. “I am so happy to be able to continue my softball career at the collegiate level because it is something I have done my whole life. I am blessed to be able to continue to do it.

Sonoma State is an NCAA Division II university located in Rohnert Park, California. The Seawolves softball team play in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Last season the Seawolves finished the season 17-8 overall and 12-4 in the conference.

It was always a goal for Martinez to play in college, something that she really worked toward during the past year. Martinez has played for Lemoore High since her freshman season in 2019. After a shortened 2020 season due to COVID-19, Martinez had a stellar junior season with 17 hits, 12 RBIs and three homeruns, according to stats on MaxPreps.

“I feel like I have always had that mindset that I wanted to play in college it was more of just putting in the work to accomplish it,” Martinez said. “During the time when COVID-19 hit, I really took advantage of that and worked really hard to get stronger and faster so I wasn’t falling behind and would be ready for the upcoming season.”

Martinez has always loved the game of softball especially because of the relationships she has built over the years playing the sport.

“Softball has brought me to some of my closest friends in life and it has taught me so many life lessons and how it is okay to fail,” Martinez said. “Without softball I wouldn’t have made all of these memories and meet so many amazing people.”

Martinez still has some unfinished business during her last season at Lemoore High School when softball begins play in the spring.

“My goals for my final year of softball at Lemoore High School would be to get First team All-League for my third year or receive WYL MVP honors,” Martinez said. "I can’t wait to get back into it and finish out my final season.”

Martinez said that her success in the game of softball hasn’t been accomplished alone and thanked those who have supported her.

“My family has definitely been my biggest support throughout my years of playing softball. No matter the situation I am able to call any of my family members and they would be there. I would definitely love to thank my Grandpa Louie and Grandma Durinda for always being at my tournaments no matter if they were in Lemoore or even out of state, they were always there to cheer me on,” Martinez said. “I would also love to thank my high-school coaches Coach Dionne and Coach Doc for always pushing me to get better and always believing in me. Also, to my travel ball coaches, Coach Sarah and Coach Steph, thank you guys for always pushing me to get better and always spending those extra hours to help me with all the little things I needed help on.”

Most importantly for Martinez, she thanked her parents who she said have helped her grow not only on the field but as a person.

“I want to say my biggest thanks to my mom and dad for putting in all those extra hours to be there and help me get better as a person and as an athlete,” Martinez said. “No matter how far away I will be from them I know they will always be by my side and help me on whatever I need.”

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