Mirror Sports Writer
When the first round CIF playoff game ended Friday on the Samohi softball field Viking Coach Debbie Skaggs searched her memory.
Was this the best it’s been in her 19 years at Santa Monica?
“It ranks with the best,’’ she concluded. “Considering the caliber of the opponent, considering they walloped us in the playoffs last season, considering we were behind, 6-0, considering we had a run taken away from us, yes this is the best.’’
Millikan High of Long Beach, which beat Samohi in last season’s playoffs 11-0 and went on to become CIF Division 3 champs, came to Santa Monica this time as the third place team from the Moore League and went ahead 6-0. Then Samohi came back to win, 7-6 in eight innings.
In the first four innings it was difficult to see which team finished in third place and which one went 10-0 in the Ocean League and won 20 games overall.
Santa Monica scored one run in the fourth. And even when the Vikings scored three more in the fifth their chances didn’t look real good because a run that scored was removed due to interference on the basepaths.
The game went into the bottom of the seventh and Christine Foley and Hannah-Rose Peters got on base. Lana Bowie hit into a force play and with two outs the Vikings needed something special.
It was provided by junior Jackie Kay, who delivered a double to left center field that brought in both runners.
Peters retired the visitors quickly in the eighth and then Foley produced the winning hit, a single that ended the dramatic contest.
Skaggs kept encouraging her players throughout the game even though the task seemed extremely difficult to the overflow crowd that turned out to support the Vikings and outnumbered the Millikan rooters.
“I kept telling our players we had a chance – don’t give up, we can win,’’ said Skaggs. “It was demoralizing when that run was taken away but this is the best team we’ve defeated this season.’’
It was a big win for Samohi and a big win for the Ocean League, which almost had its champion eliminated by a team that had finished behind Long Beach Poly and Lakewood in its league.
Samohi advanced to a second round game Tuesday against Oaks Christian. The result was not available at press time.