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Softball: Kingwood’s Martinez pitches 3-hitter to defeat Humble

March 12, 2019

Mary Martinez is new to varsity softball.

The freshman right-handed pitcher relies on her upperclassmen teammates for guidance when times get rough.

Martinez always has her eyes and ears open when an upperclassman has advice to give.

The advice served Martinez well as she pitched a three hitter with 12 strikeouts while Kingwood defeated Humble 3-0 in a District 22-6A game Monday at the Mustangs field.

“It’s rare that a freshman gets to start on varsity, especially a pitcher,” Martinez said. “It was a little nerve wrecking at first, but now I know I have my team behind me. I just really have to listen to my upperclassmen because they have been helping me since day one. They make things easier when they’re playing good defense behind me.”

Martinez retired 10 Lady Wildcats in a row to start the game before giving up her first hit in the top of the fourth inning.

“You just have to go in with a positive mindset,” Martinez said. “I know that my defense is behind me and is always going to be there. I just need to focus on hitting my spots.”

Kingwood head coach Lauren Hendrix liked how Martinez performed in the circle as the Lady Mustangs (5-3) extended their winning streak to three games.

“When you come out here you’re not a freshman, so it doesn’t matter what age you are,” Hendrix said. “You have to come out here and fight. She has to step up every time she’s pitching, and she did a great job today.”

Martinez and Humble’s Samantha Umfrid had a pitcher’s duel through four innings.

The only runs of the game came in the fifth inning.

Martinez and Kat Martinez hit back-to-back singles to get the Lady Mustangs started.

Then Jourdyn Campbell hit a three-run home run with two outs to give the Lady Mustangs the lead.

Campbell made adjustments after her two first at-bats against Umfrid when she stepped up to the plate the third time.

“My first two at-bats I was really early. So I thought let me just show bunt and pull back, relax and be patient,” said the senior shortstop. I knew I had runners in scoring position so I wasn’t trying to do a lot. I wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere and get the runs in because we had a 0-0 game. As soon as it came off my bat I ran to first base and told my first base coach ‘it’s gone.’”

Humble first year head coach Billy Gonzales saw the Lady Wildcats battle throughout the game with great defense.

“Sam has been pitching well for us all season,” Gonzales said. “She’s been doing a good job for us of keeping us in it. Give credit to the hitter. She found a pitch to hit, and that ended up being a big run in this game. These girls have been working hard all season and will continue to do it as we go through district.”

Umfrid pitched a complete game and had seven strikeouts in the circle for the Lady Wildcats.

Humble (5-12, 3-4) had runners on first and second base in the top of the fifth inning, but Martinez ended the inning with a strikeout.

The Lady Mustangs’ next game will be at home at 6 p.m. March 22 against rival Atascocita.

Kingwood will look to extend its current winning streak when they face the Lady Eagles again.

Atascocita defeated Kingwood 10-3 in the first matchup.

“We are motivated,” said the Texas A&M signee Campbell. I feel like we just needed one good win to lock everything up and keeping going forward. We’re ready to keep winning and we can’t wait until the Atascocita game.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com