The Montreat College Athletic Program has offered a spot on its baseball team to Marti Sementelli, a female baseball pitcher from California, and she officially signed with the college on Thursday, June 2 in her home state of California. Sementelli is one of five new recruits who have committed to the Montreat College baseball team. Sementelli, a 5-foot-2 senior right-hander, demonstrates noteworthy pitching ability. This spring on the Birmingham High School boys’ baseball team in California, Sementelli held a 2-1 pitching record in 22 innings as the relief pitcher. She allowed nine earned runs, struck out 14, and walked six.
Sementelli’s baseball experience goes beyond high school ball; she has played internationally with the USA Baseball Women’s National Team, setting her apart as one of the world’s strongest female baseball players. She pitched twice for bronze medal World Cup teams, once in Japan at age 15 and in Venezuela last summer. After spending time at the national team’s NC-based training center, Sementelli realized she wanted to go to college in North Carolina and sought out Montreat College as an option. Montreat College is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts college located in the mountains of western North Carolina.
Sementelli has played baseball with the boys since she was a child, and she has received national attention for her remarkable pitching ability. At ten years old, Sementelli struck out Jimmy Kimmel when she appeared on his late night TV show.
Coach Michael Bender responded to Sementelli's interest by doing what he does for every other recruit -- watching her pitch and bringing her to campus for a visit. After seeing her pitching ability, he offered her a place on the freshmen-sophomore development team. Sementelli officially signed with Montreat College on June 2, 2011. Coach Bender believes Sementelli will fit in well: “We are very fortunate to have such an excellent student-athlete in our baseball program. Marti is an outstanding person and a great fit for the college; she loves this campus and its core values.”
Sementelli can’t wait to get started. Her hopes of playing college baseball are becoming a reality. She said, “It's a dream come true that I have found a school that accepts me for who I am as a person and an athlete. Coach Bender is a coach that is so giving and accepting. I can't express how grateful I am and what he has done for me.”
After years of hearing her baseball career would end after high school, Sementelli will now play college ball and earn a scholarship as well. She shared, “Receiving a scholarship is something I never thought possible, but with hard work and meeting the right people at Montreat, it became possible.” Sementelli will receive both an academic and an athletic scholarship at Montreat for both her athletic ability and her strong academic record.
Montreat welcomes Sementelli as both an athlete and a student. Dr. Marshall Flowers, Acting President, Provost and Senior Vice President of Montreat College shared: “Montreat College is an excellent place for Marti to pursue her goal of playing intercollegiate baseball in the context of a Christ-centered liberal arts education. At Montreat College, Marti will be a valued person where we celebrate her character development and her accomplishments both academically and athletically.”
The Montreat College community looks forward to seeing Sementelli succeed both academically and athletically over the next four years. Coach Bender stated, “We are honored to be a part of this process with Marti as she is going to make history and blaze trails for female athletes around the country.”
Montreat College is a Christ-centered liberal arts institution with its main campus for four-year traditional students in Montreat. The accelerated School of Professional and Adult Studies program has campuses in Asheville, Charlotte, and Black Mountain.