SAMOHI — The hits just keep coming for the Vikings’ softball team.
Santa Monica High School, coming off the first California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section softball title in school history, has placed a number of players on the All CIF-SS Division 4 team with senior pitcher Celisha Walker (23-4, 1.22 earned run average and 125 strikeouts) leading the way as the Player of the Year, it was announced on Monday.
“I think it makes everything just 10 times better,” Walker said. “This is the cherry on top.”
Senior shortstop Kaile Nakao was named to the first team. Senior outfielder Holly Elander made the second team. Head Coach Debbie Skaggs was named Coach of the Year. The honor, the first in her career, caps Skaggs’ final season as coach. She had been at the helm of the team for the past 24 years.
“I think it’s really cool that she gets to go out with this honor,” Walker said of Skaggs.
Walker, who will play for New Mexico State next season, said that the litany of honors exceeded her expectations heading into the season, but she was proud of the way the season came to an end in the Division 4 final against North Torrance.
The CIF-SS honors are not the first for the team following a successful season that ended with a 28-5 overall record and perfect 10-0 mark in Ocean League play.
Earlier this month, Cal Hi Sports named the Vikings the CIF-SS Division 3 team of the year. Cal Hi Sports considers CIF-SS Division 4 teams as Division 3 statewide. Also, the team had a heavy presence on the All-Ocean League team. Walker and Nakao were named Co-Most Valuable Players. Skaggs was named Coach of the Year.
The first team featured: center fielder Elander, catcher Emma Woo, third baseman Hayley Condon, first baseman Hailey Sheridan and pitcher Natalie Abel. The second team included: outfielder Meghan Bradley, right fielder Kelsey Hom and designated player Stephanie Ordaz.