Written by Tyler Clark for Arkansas Athletic Media Relations
Ashley Martindale, a freshman leftfielder and pinch runner from Benton, Ark., has been an important part of the Razorback softball team this year. She helped the Razorbacks to the win over No. 1 UCLA in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. Martindale has seven hits in 27 at bats this season. She has been very active on the base path as a pinch runner as well, scoring ten runs for the Hogs.
Q: What do you like most about playing softball here?A: I really like being with the team and hanging out with all of my teammates. It is an awesome experience.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment from this season?A: I would say beating No. 1 UCLA in Las Vegas. That was a great win and a cool place to beat them.
Q: How have you improved as a player this season?A: I have learned a lot from the coaches. I have pretty much taught myself how to slap hit. It has been great to have so many people helping me out throughout the season.
Q: What made you come to the University of Arkansas?A: I grew up in Arkansas so it has always been my dream to come here. My brother is also here and my parents went here so growing up this is the place I have always wanted to be at.
Q: Do you have any pregame or game rituals?A: I like to eat candy before the games. I usually eat sour candy. As a team, we have our own handshake and we like to play hacky sack. I am improving a lot at hacky sack.
Q: What teammate has made the most positive impact on you and why?A: I would say Hope because she is always so positive and gives her all.
Q: If you could be good at one sport besides Softball, what would it be?A: Basketball probably. So that I can use my height.
Q: What is your major and what do you plan on doing after graduation?A: My major is pre-professional kinesiology and I want to be a physical therapist after graduation.
Head coach Mike Larabee on freshman Ashley Martindale:"I’m so proud of how far she has come since she entered our program in the fall. She has an unbelievable passion for the game and a huge heart. She was very raw in terms of her footwork and her short game, but she is very fast. The previous coach came in and said she could be a pinch runner. I told her we want to get her to where she is doing more than that. She knows how to fight in the batter’s box. Out of all of our short game kids, she probably has the fewest strikeouts and at bat to strikeout ratio. She puts the ball in the play and she is not afraid to face the best in the circle such as Jordan Taylor (Michigan) who is a USA National Team player. Obviously, she needs to get stronger and polish up some of the areas of her game. However, from start to finish she has probably been our most improved player this year."