The Mid-Columbia Athletes of the Week for April 30, 2011.
Alyssa Martinez, Othello, junior
A knee injury in basketball prevented Martinez from playing a full softball season. But when the two-time all-CWAC catcher hit the diamond for the first time this year last week against Selah, it was like she never left.
“I was a little nervous about my first at-bat, but I got on base with a single,” said Martinez, who already has drawn interest from UNLV and New Mexico.
The single was a good start, but Martinez’s performance in a doubleheader sweep of Quincy on Saturday — three HRs, nine RBIs — showed she’s ready to go in 2011.
“I miss (catching) a lot. I miss being in every play and having that bond with the pitcher,” Martinez said. “I’m worried about (fielding) bunts because of the pressure on the knee. The rest is all in my mind.”
Favorite food: Aunt Belinda’s lasagna
Favorite athlete: Crystl Bustos
Unusual talents?: When I laugh, my eyebrow goes up and everybody laughs
Sports highlight: Two years ago, I hit a two-out, walk-off home run that sent us to the state championship game.
Favorite class: Mr. Rocha’s AP language
Pregame/race ritual: Prayer
Halftime snack: Ranch sunflower seeds
Must-have on the road: Iced tea
Favorite movie: The Little Giants
Favorite TV show: Hawaii Five-O
Outside reading: The Best College for You
Career plans: Physical therapist or trainer
Favorite stadium: UW softball stadium, right off Lake Washington
Dream vacation: Bahamas
Luc Graff, Chiawana, senior
Graff is a battle-tested three-sport athlete who has been a critical part of Chiawana’s first-ever football and basketball league championships this season.
Last Tuesday, he helped the Riverhawks write some more history, tossing a complete-game win and adding four hits during a doubleheader sweep of Wenatchee -- the school’s first twinbill sweep.
What’s more, he did it against one of the top pitchers in the CBBN 4A -- Panthers sophomore Dustin Driver.
“(Coach Gary Jonas) came up to me and asked, ‘Do you want the ball?’ I told him I would accept the challenge,” Graff said. “My defense really helped me out that game. To be a part of that sweep was an honor.”
Graff admits that the spring season is a little more relaxing than fall and winter. The 3B/P has enjoyed his role as one of the few senior leaders on the team.
“I’ll do whatever the coach asks me to do,” Graff said.
Favorite food: Steak and potatoes
Favorite nonsport activity: Boating at Priest Lake, Idaho.
Favorite athlete: Drew Brees
Most like to meet: Peyton Manning.
Famous relatives?: Uncle is former Gonzaga and current Long Beach State coach Dan Monson. Grandfather is former Idaho and Oregon coach Don Monson.
Sports memory: Making it to state quarterfinals in football with my dad as coach
Favorite class: Business 100 at CBC (Running Start)
Pregame ritual: I have a PBJ before every game.
Nominations for AOTW can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 582-1410. Nominations must be received by noon Sunday.