Nadia Brianne Matthews, better known in softball circles as Bri Matthews, died Thursday apparently after hanging herself, according to the Orange County Coroner's report released on Friday. She was 16.
Coach Doug Myers struggled for words to describe his and the team's feelings about Matthews' stunning death on Thursday, which came on the same day the program was ranked No. 6 in the MaxPreps preseason state ranking.
“We're all shocked. It's been a rough day, really rough, I've never been through anything like this,” Myers said. “Such a special kid, such a special girl, one in a million.
“Everything she did, she gave 110 percent. Some kids talk about it, but she actually did. She was a 4.0 student, an amazing kid who wanted to be so great.”
Matthews was a sophomore who had already made a verbal commitment to attend Arizona.
Paramedics, who received a report of a girl not breathing, were called to an Anaheim apartment Bri shared with her mother, Nadia Martinez, and younger sister, at 7:45 p.m. She was pronounced dead at UCI Medical Center in Orange 37 minutes later.
Students at Mater Dei met in the school's chapel Friday morning, and softball players went to teammate Alyssa Yglesias' house afterward as they tried to get through the loss.
“We talked and shared special memories about Bri,” Myers said. “She was always going to be first, whether it was running a mile or whether it was grades, she put every single ounce into anything she did. She never did anything less than 100 percent.”
During her freshman season, Matthews was 14-4 with a 0.98 earned-run average. She struck out 138 batters in 107.1 innings, and also had two saves. Mater Dei was 20-5-1 last season