Feb. 6, 2014
Boca Raton, Fla. -
Twins Christina and Melissa Martinez, sophomore members of the FAU softball squad, know what it means to be part of a team. They have been each other's number one teammate for as long as they can remember.
"We've always done everything together," said Christina. "Melissa is like the mom, making sure we are taken care of, and I am like the coach, always pushing us to get better."
The ladies, both scholarship players and starters in their freshman season, were born and raised in Miami, FL. Twins run on both sides of their family, and they have twin god sons.
"As much as we love being twins, I don't think either of us would want to have twins," said Christina. "Our mother (Rosa) faced a lot of complications with us, so we would be worried about the health risks."
They began playing softball at seven years old; inspired by their older brother, who played baseball. Their father (Ricardo) was also a major influence and served as their coach for many years. High school and travel ball helped them prepare for college, but they still faced a lot of challenges when they came to FAU.
"Our freshman year was one of the most painful years of our lives," said Melissa. "The physical maintenance we had to learn, plus dealing with injuries, was a big hurdle. It was also a big transition from high school and we had to rely solely on ourselves to get things done."
This season, which begins on Friday, Feb. 7, Christina Martinez and Melissa hope to make an even bigger impact on the team's performance. They want to help lead the Owls to the Conference USA tournament, which will be hosted by FAU.
"We are looking at some better competition this season, so it motivates us to work even harder," said Christina. "We are also constantly trying to improve because there is always someone behind us trying to be better and take our place."
Melissa, who is an infielder, had a good 2013 season with two nine-game hitting streaks and hit .500 at the Sun Belt Tournament. Christina, who plays in the outfield, finished third on the team with a .307 batting average and a team-high 14 multiple hit games in 2013.
"Christy and Mel are doing extremely well here at FAU," said Head Coach Joan Joyce. "They both have tremendous speed and can hit the ball well. They are very well-rounded players and so much alike that it is unbelievable. When one is up to bat, the other one gets nervous."
The Martinezes will face twins Maddie and Maggie Withee this weekend when they play Tulsa on Saturday, February 8. "We are so excited to meet them," said Melissa. "We want to see if they are anything like us."
Mel and Christy, as their teammates like to call them, are both education majors and would like to pursue a master's degree after they receive their bachelor's. Their goal is to become elementary school teachers.
To see the complete 2014 softball schedule and find ticket information, please visit fausports.com.