The Santa Monica High softball team played a challenging non-league schedule, its usual custom. It won some games and lost some. A couple of the team’s best hitters got off to slow starts and star pitcher Celisha Walker missed a few games due to an injury.But when Ocean League play began Coach Debbie Skaggs’ Vikings routed Inglewood, 25-0 and followed up with a 9-0 win over a Beverly Hills High team that assistant coach Dan Ramos said was improved.“They fielded well, I appreciated seeing the progress they’ve made,” he said.And what about Samohi?“Some players who started slowly are coming around,” he said. “We’re getting it together and hoping to be at our best for league games and the playoffs.”Ramos didn’t have to name the players who started slowly. Statistics tell that story.Shortstop Kaile Nakao, one of the Ocean League’s best players who’s being recruited by Division 1 universities, was batting .118 several weeks into the season. Catcher Emma Woo, who supplied consistent power last season, didn’t get a hit in her first 12-at-batsBut with Samohi also winning a non-league game from Peninsula, 6-0, the Vikings used three straight shutouts to improve their record to 10-5.The hits are coming, the pitching has been outstanding and the fielding has held up well, including Nakao’s stellar work at shortstop.Holly Elander is the Vikings’ leading hitter and Ramos praises sophomore Meghan Bradley, saying she’s been important in the team’s recent success.Samohi has won the league championship the last four years and didn’t allow an earned run to an Ocean League opponent last season.
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