CSUEB’s Dynamic Duo Among The CCAA’s Most Feared Hitters


Both Annelise Garcia and Adriana Martinez

Jared Darling, Sports Photographer

California State University, East Bay’s softball catchers Annelise Garcia and Adriana Martinez have taken the league by storm this season. The star backstops have provided the Pioneers with explosive power in the heart of the lineup and defensive versatility, allowing the coaching staff to deploy the players wherever they are needed. Time and time again, Garcia and Martinez have persevered through the most pivotal moments for East Bay with big hits, propelling the Pioneers to victory.
Garcia, one half of the dynamic duo, is in her second season with the Pioneers, backing up her fantastic freshman season with an even better sophomore campaign. Garcia finds her name plastered all over the California Collegiate Athletic Association leaderboards, including the top of the “Runs Batted In” leaderboard with 31 RBIs, setting the pace with seven more RBIs than the next closest batter. Garcia is also second in home runs with a total of six, fourth in stolen bases with a total of 13, fifth in triples and runs scored with 2 and 22 respectively, and eighth in slugging percentage with an impressive .547. Thanks to her unrivaled power and speed, Garcia has solidified her status as an elite hitter in the CCAA and a dual threat.

Annelise Garcia

Among one of the only catchers to top the stolen base leaderboards, the “five-tool” catcher pushes the boundaries of her position with her physical prowess: “It’s definitely fun to be a fast
Garcia continued by attributing her success on the diamond to the countless hours spent training, stating, “It’s kind of fun seeing all of the hard work with lifting and speed training in the off-season come together and pay off in the end. Knowing I have a little more of an advantage is great because every base counts.”.
While Garcia is proud of headlining the CCAA in multiple categories, winning is paramount for the distinguished athlete: “Honestly, it’s cool to be the top rank for these categories, but what means more to me is doing my job and helping my team in any ways I can to win. I’m glad I can contribute to any run that is scored. Every run matters in this game, and knowing that I help my team in the way that I can is all that matters to me,” remarked Garcia.
Martinez, the other half of the duo, is in her first season with the Pioneers after transferring from San Jose City College Jaguars. The Jaguar standout racked up a laundry list of accolades over her tenure at San Jose City College thanks to her stellar performance in the Coast Conference. Following her excellent showing in junior college, Martinez has exceeded expectations in the CCAA, currently holding third place in walks with a total of 20, fourth in doubles with a total of nine, fifth in home runs with a total of five, eighth in total hits with 36, and ninth in RBI and slugging percentage with 17 total and a .545 slugging percent respectively.

Adriana Martinez

Showcasing a keen eye at the plate, Martinez grinds down pitchers by avoiding swinging at balls outside of the strike zone and pouncing once the pitcher makes a mistake over the heart of the plate. Working the counts in her favor and then attacking hittable pitches is all a part of Martinez’s game plan that is strengthened every time she steps up to bat, thanks to a supportive reminder from her brother, “I take what they give me. I don’t try and do too much and let the moment get ahead of myself. I have a voice in my head that my brother tells me to stay right side and play pepper with the second basemen,” expressed Martinez.
Martinez simply put that, “confidence is key” when it came to dominating the season. Recalling back to her brother’s role in hersuccess, Martinez added; “Believing in myself and having the confidence that I belong here is my mentality. Relating back to my brother before, he is a big part of the player I am today and he has built that mentality in my head for years since I was a kid that you have to have that swagger while you play.”
This swagger by both Martinez and Garcia is evident, albeit their styles of showing it differ significantly. Garcia plays with a fiery intensity looking to energize the Pioneers any chance she gets. Martinez plays with a stoic swagger that inspires her team to follow her lead and keep the momentum going.
Despite their contrasting styles, Garcia and Martinez feed off each other’s energy and create the perfect pair in the heart of the Pioneer lineup. “[Martinez] is so passionate about the game and she is so efficient, it rowdies up our dugout for sure. I look up to her in so many aspects that I feel she makes me a great hitter too,” noted Garcia. Echoing the sentiment, Martinez said, “I am very grateful and proud of how mature and gifted Annelise is as a player and even a hitter. She is a big aspect to our team and is a 5 tool all-around player.”
Expressing the confidence that Martinez injects into her, Garcia continued; “She pumps me up and I pump her up every at-bat, we say to each other stuff like ‘It’s your turn’ or ‘Me and you, let’s start something here,’ knowing I have faith in her to get the job done. It’s fun having one of the best hitters in CCAA in your lineup.”
With end-of-season CCAA awards likely on the horizon for both Garcia and Martinez with just under a month left to play, the Pioneers are clinging to the sixth and final spot in the CCAA playoff picture thanks in part, to this star-studded duo fueling the offense.