Banks Alum, Reinhardt Frosh Martinet Leading Nationally-Ranked Eagles
Jill Martinet knows a thing or two about fighting for her right to play. Even as a senior leader at Banks County in the Lady Leopards 2019 State Championship season, she felt the need to go out every day and win her job. That attitude went with her to Reinhardt University, where the freshman has more than earned her place in the lineup.
“In college, pretty much everyone is a good player,” says Martinet. “You have to make the decision to be a great player. People weren’t lying when they said it was next level. I couldn’t just go out and hit a bucket of balls and still get to play. The training is unreal it feels like sometimes but finding determination and perseverance was such a key factor to make it through just this year. I’m playing to better my future now. There is a lot more on the line.”
In her true freshman season for the Eagles, Martinet is batting .395 with 6 homeruns, 34 RBI, and 23 runs scored. She’s on base to the tune of .448, and is slugging .597 with a handful of games left in the 2021 season. The corner infielder is second on the team with 51 hits, and has 8 doubles and 11 walks to her credit as well. Her average, homeruns, RBI, and runs scored are all second-best on the team.
“It feels amazing to have had as much success so far this season as I’ve had,” admits Martinet. “My goal is to be an All-American. The process to getting here is definitely not easy and it was hard to trust the process.”
Softball is odd in that going from high school to college means a much-larger gap than normal. While the game is played in the fall in high school, it’s in the spring at the next level. That means waiting over a full year before getting to play for your school. Keeping in shape and ready is paramount to success. Factor in COVID, and things weren’t exactly set up well for a freshman making that transition. Martinet kept her head down and kept grinding.
“When we started quarantine I began to do my summer workouts that my coach sent me,” states Martinet. “I thought I was pushing myself getting in shape but I really focused on fielding and hitting. Once I got to school in August things change. I would say I’m in the best shape of my life. During fall we not only practice for three hours but we also worked out for another two. I think my favorite was after practice I would go and hit in the cages for a little while by myself and cool down.”
Just making the adjustments to playing at the next level and becoming a reputable student-athlete is hard enough. Making the bonds necessary to earn the respect of teammates is quite another challenge. Once again, Martinet was up for it.
“To be honest, at first I didn’t have any friends,” claims Martinet. “Besides my roommate, she had definitely been my friend since the beginning. It took until probably this semester is when I actually started to create bonds with my teammates and be friends. I had respect for the upperclassman but I had to earn their respect. Now that I have, I believe that I’ve made lifelong friends. My sister went to Reinhardt’s biggest conference competitor Truett McConnell, and I coming into to Reinhardt was known for being ‘Milly’s little sister.’ I love my sister, but I did not want to live in her shadow. I want to make a name for myself, and make my sister proud.”
No doubt at all that Milly is proud of her little sister, who is absolutely destroying the softball at Reinhardt, who is ranked #17 in the nation and stands at 31-9 overall and 15-5 inside conference play with 8 regular season games to go. The team won 14 in a row at one point.
Martinet has had 19 multi-hit games on the season, including two hits in the season-opener to go with her first collegiate homerun as part of a 5-hit double-header to open her career.
She hit a career-high 2 homers against Columbia International (SC), and has yet to commit an error while playing in the field.
“I am thankful for my family for helping me adjust to college life and pushing me to be successful,” adds Martinet. “I am also thankful for Banks County, though I have moved away I still receive constant support from the community.”
Martinet was instrumental in Banks County’s state title run in 2019, as she hit .480 with 9 HR, 46 RBI, 11 2B, 9 SB, .522 OBP, and .873 SLG. With an attitude and humility like Jill Martinet has, it’s easy to see how she continues to see her hard work pay dividends.
CS Framed Print (11×17) – Jill Martinet
CS Framed Print (11×17) – Jill Martinet