Isabel "Izzy" Martinez, a senior at Cedar Creek High School, class of 2021, signed her Letter of Intent to play softball at Abilene Christian University.
Family, friends, classmates, teachers, and coaches gathered to celebrate her accomplishment at a special signing event at Cedar Creek High School on Dec. 10, 2020.
We wanted to get to know more about Izzy, so we asked her some questions in an email interview. We were delighted with her answers and can't wait to see what she accomplishes at the next level!
Q: How did you get started playing softball? How long have you played?
A: I started playing softball competitively when I was 3 years old. I started off playing baseball with boys, and I eventually moved into softball when I was 7. My dad influenced me to play at a young age, and I never really looked back. The game has become a part of me over all of these years.
Q: Do you play any other sports? Are you in any other extra-curricular activities?
A: Aside from softball, I am also a current member of Cedar Creek’s Varsity cheerleading and powerlifting programs. I played volleyball and ran track freshman year too. As for extracurriculars, I’m Involved with Student Council and NHS at school. In my free time, I coach a 10u girls softball team.
Q: What made you choose Abilene Christian University?
A: I attended a camp at ACU last year, and was overwhelmed with a sense of “I belong here.” People have always told me I’ll know when know. That feeling was very evident at Abilene Christian. The atmosphere there is so welcoming and their facilities are nothing short of pristine. I think it’s the perfect distance from home, not too far and not too close, and I adore the coaching staff. It’s a place where I can really see myself developing as an athlete, student, Christian, and person.
Q: Were there any coaches who helped you out the most? What is some of the best advice you got from a coach?
A: Every coach I’ve had has played a role in my athletic career. There have been ones that believe in me so much, that it makes me believe in myself more. There have also been some that did the opposite, and it made me want to push myself harder. I thank them all because I wouldn’t be here without them. The best advice I’ve ever received from a coach is “You never know who is watching, so always make sure you are doing your best.”
Q: What kind of training outside of school did you do?
A: Outside of school I do a lot of strength training. The main reason I do powerlifting is to prepare for softball season. I hit at the batting cages any chance I get. The work done at practice is never enough. And when you think you’ve done enough, do more.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories of playing softball at CCHS? Are there any moments, plays, or games that stick out in your memory?
A: My favorite memories of playing softball at Cedar Creek are definitely the tournaments. The girls are like family and anything we do together is a good time. One of my favorite moments playing softball at Cedar Creek was the first at bat of my junior year. I was the lead batter. The first pitch, I hit the ball over the fence. Another good memory was sophomore year, our pitcher Kaitlyn Samarripa hit a walk-off home run to win the game.
Q: What is one of your fondest memories of CCHS in general? What will you miss most about CCHS once you graduate?
A: I love CCHS because there is so much to be involved in. The thing I will miss most is the football games. I never missed one unless I had to play softball. Whether I was in the stands with my friends or cheering on the sidelines, they were some of my fondest memories.
Q: Besides your home field at CCHS, which softball field was your favorite to play on and why?
A: I always enjoy playing at the softball fields in Sugar Land simply because of the nostalgia they bring me as being the first fields I ever played softball on.
Q: Which team(s) were your favorites to compete against and why?
A: My favorite game to play is the Bastrop game because it is always competitive each year. I love seeing the stands fill up and feeling the support of my hometown.
Q: How did it feel to sign your LOI at the ceremony?
A: My Signing was one of the best days of my life. I was so blessed to experience the moment surrounded by my friends and family. I was beyond excited to officially sign to my dream school, finally. I felt so thankful for everyone and I truly felt the love in the room.
Q: What awards, honors, or accomplishments have you received for softball?
A: Freshman year I received the “Golden Glove Award” for my perfect fielding percentage. Sophomore year I received the “Diamond Thief” award for leading the team in stolen bases. I was named a team captain my sophomore year, and have been ever since. All years, I have received Academic All-District honors.
Q: What awards, honors, or accomplishments have you received outside of softball?
A: Outside of softball, I was named an All American Cheerleader. I also maintain a GPA that keeps me in the Top 6% of my class.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment and why?
A: My proudest accomplishment is choosing to become a follower of Christ.
Q: What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing besides playing softball?
A: Besides playing softball, I love to spend time with friends and family. I’m happiest doing outdoor activities like hiking, paddle boarding, and exploring new places. I love to travel and embrace the cultures of different areas. I also enjoy painting, writing, and listening to music.
Q: Have you chosen a major yet for college? If so, what did you choose, and why?
A: I chose to major in Psychology and plan to go to Medical School after. I plan to become a Clinical Psychiatrist for children and teenagers. I always knew I wanted to embrace a career path that allows me to help others, and I believe that I found the perfect job to do so.
Q: Who has been your favorite teacher at CCHS so far and why? Favorite class and why?
A: It would be impossible to chose a favorite teacher at CCHS, but two people who have made a great impact on my life would be Mr. Birch and Mr. Conn. Mr. Birch because he always pushed me to be my best, and always believed in me. Mr. Conn because of his great knowledge and advice, and love for life. My favorite (and simultaneously least favorite) would have to be American Studies because it helped me to unlock abilities I never knew I possessed. I also adore AP Psychology because of my intense interest in the human brain and how much it will help me in my major.
Q: Do you have any goals for your future? If so, what are they?
A: My biggest goal for my future is to be happy and content. I would like to eventually move to Colorado and practice Psychiatry there. I never want to stop doing community service or playing softball. I big goal of mine is to do a lot of traveling.
Q: If you could choose to have dinner with any three living people, who would you choose and why?
A: If I could choose to have dinner with any three living people, they would be Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift, and George Strait. I just feel like they have some great stories to tell. I love them.
Q: What makes you angry? What makes you laugh? What makes you sad?
A: Something that makes me angry is my inability to say no to pizza even though I’m lactose intolerant. Something that makes me laugh are my best friends. Something that makes me sad is the thought of leaving my sister when I go to college.
Q: What would you sing at Karaoke night?
A: At a karaoke night, I would sing Fergalicious.
Thanks, Izzy! We wish you all the best at Abilene Christian University!