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Martinez Earns Bethany College’s First NAIA Softball First Team All-American Honors

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By: Bethany College Athletics

 

LINDSBORG, Kan. (bethanyswedes.com) – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2022-23 Softball All-America Teams.

Lilliana Martinez was announced as a NAIA Softball First Team All-American for the outfield position. Martinez had a stellar year producing 16 homeruns (3rd in the NAIA) and 54 rbi. Lilliana was also 8th in the nation in slugging percentage at .807 (.928 during conference play).

“I am very proud and happy for Lilly’s achievements this year,” said Head Coach Apdiel Vazquez. “This award is a representation of her hard work, dedication, and leadership not only for herself, but for our program as well. I feel very fortunate and thankful to be part of her journey and to witness such an amazing season making her the first softball 1st Team All-American in Bethany College history.”

Martinez is the first Swede to earn NAIA All-American honors in program history. Kelli Traffas earned Honorable Mention honors in 2014.

“We are thrilled for Lilly to earn NAIA 1st Team All-American honors!” said Dean of Athletics Laura Moreno. “This fantastic accomplishment is a testament to not just the student-athlete she is, but also the type of person she has grown to be. We are so proud of not just Lilly, but also Coach Vasquez and the softball program as a whole and the direction they are headed in. We look forward to what is to come for Lilly and Swedes Softball, and are thankful to witness it, support them, and cheer them on!”

Lilliana Martinez also received the National Fast Pitch Association’s (NFCA) NAIA Region 3 Second Team honors as a utility player that also pitches. Martinez is the fourth Swede to earn these honors following Samantha Quezada (Pitcher), Ciera Flores (Shortstop), and Kayla Eggly (Utility Player/Pitcher).

Coach Vazquez: “Lilly’s desire to outwork everyone as well as her desire to win has been key to her success in all aspects of the game. Seeing her growth not only on the field but off the field as well has been gratifying throughout the last 3 years. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for Lilly!”

Earlier this year, Lilliana won KCAC Player of the Year honors as well as being named to the All-KCAC First Team as an outfielder as well as All-KCAC Second Team as a pitcher and utility player.

To see the full list of NAIA softball All-Americans, click here.

To see the full list of NFCA All-Region honors, click here.

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