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Sophomore Alexa Martinez and the Virginia softball team welcomes No. 22 North Carolina for an ACC showdown this weekend at The Park. The two teams will play at 6 p.m. Friday before concluding the series with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. Following Saturday’s second game, there will be an Easter egg hunt on the field in addition to a chance to meet the team during a postgame autograph session. Martinez, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a transfer from Auburn, recently caught up with to chat about her first year as a Cavalier, why she is dyeing her hair blond and her career aspirations.

Question: How would you describe the season so far?
It’s been a good season; we had a rough start but now everything is starting to come together. We are playing well. As a team, we are getting along well. There is good chemistry and we have been working hard.

Question: How is it different now with the ACC schedule coming into play?
We are excited to play some quality teams and prove to everyone what we can do. All the upperclassmen talk about last year and having a rough time getting through the ACC schedule. It has pumped us up to come out and show everyone what we’ve got.

Question: How did you end up at Virginia after spending a year at Auburn?
I used to play for Coach Heidi (Freitager) in high school and we have always stayed in touch. I had a rough time transitioning to Auburn; she ended up talking to Coach Schmidt about me and how the team needed a first baseman. So I talked to her and she gave me the opportunity to come here and play. Virginia is a better school academically and that is what really counts. The team gets along really well and there is good communication between the coaches and the players. Our coaches have pretty cool personalities. I wouldn’t go as far as calling them cool, but they are pretty close.

Question: There’s a rumor you are dyeing your hair blond. True?
Well, on the airplane coming home from California, Coach Heidi was talking about how she had to dye her hair darker because we swept Maryland. On the plane I was making a joke that if we swept Virginia Tech, I would dye my hair blond. I thought the team forgot about it, but then the flight attendant decided to announce it. They didn’t forget; I’m getting gold and blond highlights in my hair next week.

Question: And sweeping Tech means there is another consequence coming for someone else this weekend, yes?
Sarah Tacke found a wonderful Easter sweater online for Coach Schmidt to wear on Friday. It is marvelous and I really think it is going to bring out Coach Schmidt’s eyes.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
I actually have a newfound interest in baking. I can bake cookies and brownies from scratch. I was recently told I should try to make a molten chocolate cake, so we’ll see how that goes. That will be my next accomplishment. Other than that, in the fall G (Giannina Cipolloni) and I did Zumba. That was fun but she is the better dancer.

Question: What are you majoring in?
I just recently got into the Curry School (of Education) for kinesiology and sports medicine. I am really excited about that.

Question: What are your career aspirations?
I want to be a sports therapist and help with rehabilitation after sports injuries.

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