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Marshall helping build Newport

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sophomore pitcher, also one of team's best hitters, makes young Sailors go.

March 18, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com

Qualin knows he still has one of the best batteries around with Marshall and sophomore catcher Bella Secaira, who was a first-team All-Sunset League selection a year ago. He trusts Marshall, a power pitcher who is constantly working on her game.

"I knew Hattie was a really good hitter and defensive player," Qualin said. "I didn't know she'd blossom into such a good pitcher. We won the Whittier tournament last year, and she pitched the championship game. She was just very tough. She just bears down and gets it done; Hattie is very competitive."

She takes private lessons from her pitching coach, Chrissy Hartman-Haines, who played at Cal State Fullerton. Throughout her softball career she's also worked with her father, Brian, an assistant coach at Newport Harbor.

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"He's been my coach since 6-and-unders," Hattie Marshall said. "He was my first softball coach. I don't know. He can be my worst enemy and my biggest fan at the same time. He pushes me so hard, to the point where I want to give up, but I understand it's from love. He wants the best for me.

"He's helped me out so much with everything, and he understands me. He gets heated when I do something wrong, but he only gets mad because he knows I can do better."

Brian and Hattie's mother, Shelley, do love their only child. Hattie said it's a big extended family, and she's close to her cousins as well.

She also draws inspiration from other places. When she was playing for her rec-ball team, Pacific Coast, she met former Angels pitcher Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand.

"He was a coach in Pacific Coast," Marshall said. "He's a motivational speaker now, and he's one of the nicest people I've ever met. I remember when I broke my leg and I was crying at a clinic because I couldn't participate. I felt really bad, and he was like, 'I've had to overcome a bunch more obstacles. This is going to be easy for you. Don't even worry about it.'

"I remember doing a report on him in fifth grade; he sent me a picture and he told me about his life. Just his motivation of getting over that, he's just an inspiration. I've always looked up to him."

The Sailors have always looked up to their competition in league as well. But with league play beginning April 5, they're more looking to make their mark. They do have a freshman pitcher in Savannah Caviston, but Marshall can also handle her increased workload – with a little help.

"Ice is your best friend," she said. "I ice my arm after every game."

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Hattie Marshall

Born: Jan. 2, 1995

Hometown: Costa Mesa

Height: 5-foot-7

Sport: Softball

Coach: Tony Qualin

Favorite food: Strawberries

Favorite movie: "The King's Speech"

Favorite athletic moment: "Probably when I got to throw out the opening pitch for my rec-ball team [Pacific Coast] two or three years ago. Kobe Bryant was there; his daughter plays there … [Newport Harbor teammate] Lauren Gandi caught the ball."

Week in review: The sophomore pitcher went 3-1 and also batted a team-best .632 as the Sailors placed fifth in the Costa Mesa Tournament and also beat rival CdM. Marshall was two for four with four RBIs in the 14-3 victory over the Sea Kings.

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