SAMOHI — Just days removed from giving up the first run to an Ocean League opponent in 23 games, a streak that spanned parts of three seasons, it appears that the Vikings have recovered.
Santa Monica High School softball continued its impressive play Tuesday during a 14-0 home win over Morningside, which was called after five innings due to the mercy rule. Sophomore starter Natalie Abel (6-0, 0.48 ERA, 41 Ks) picked up the victory by throwing five innings of one-hit ball and amassing nine strike outs. With the win, Samohi is 20-6 overall and 9-0 in league. Morningside fell to 3-12 overall and 0-9 in league.
“I tried to mix it up today,” Abel said of her performance. “I felt pretty good about the way it turned out.”
The sophomore, who is considered the team’s number two starter, had reason to be pleased by her effort. After allowing a hit to Morningside’s lead-off hitter in the top half of the first inning, Abel struck out six of the next seven batters she faced en route to the win.
Abel’s ability to keep Morningside at bay gave Samohi ample time to warm up at the plate.
After being shut down by Morningside starter Adrianna Morales in the first, Samohi erupted for 10 runs in the home half of the second inning. Kelsey Hom got the rally started with a one-out walk, later advancing to second on a Morales wild pitch. Synthia Perez-Ramirez followed with a walk of her own.
With a pair of Vikings on base Hailey Sherdian opened up the scoring with an RBI double to center field scoring Hom making it 1-0. Noticeably flustered, Morales responded by hitting the next batter, Hayley Condon, with a pitch loading the bases for Meghan Bradley. She drew a walk scoring Perez-Ramirez with the second run of the game.
With the bases still loaded Kaile Nakao drew a four-pitch walk bringing home another Viking run. With the score 3-0 it appeared that Morales was overmatched. Morningside’s Head Coach Vince Washington, whose team is short of reserves, left the right-hander in the game only to see her give up seven more runs in the inning highlighted by Sherdian’s two-RBI single later in an inning that saw 14 Vikings come to the plate.
“[Samohi’s players] have been playing since they were little ones,” Washington said of the Vikings’ roster. “Some of my girls have only been playing for two or three years.
“We need more time and more coaching if we’re going to compete with a team like that.”
After putting up 10 in the second inning, Samohi tacked on another run in the third and three more in the fourth.
While the game was a dominating effort, Samohi’s Assistant Coach Dan Ramos was quick to point out that it means nothing unless the Vikings make a good run in the playoffs.
“Sometimes teams get relaxed when they are playing a lesser team,” Ramos said. “We didn’t let that happen today.
“We ran the bases hard to get ready for the playoffs.”
The team, which made it to the third round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs last year, has big plans this time around.
“We’re looking forward to bringing home a CIF championship,” Abel said. “We still haven’t reached our peak.”
The Vikings have one more regular season game left, a home contest against league rival Culver City on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.