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(photo by Wendy Perl)

SAMOHI — Celisha Walker was a one-woman wrecking crew on Thursday.

The senior pitcher committed to play for New Mexico State next year threw a complete game shutout against El Segundo during a 12-0 rout to open the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

Oh, and she went 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, double and triple. She also knocked in three runs as the Vikings advanced to face the winner of the Garden Grove-Apple Valley game, also played on Thursday. Results were not available at presstime.

“I was feeling confident today,” Walker said. “I have a good defense behind me.”

That defense played a major role early on as the Vikings fended off El Segundo’s best scoring opportunity with the game tied at nil in the top of the third inning. With El Segundo’s Erin Burner on first, Aly Doering hit a sharp ground ball to Walker who committed a throwing error trying to force Burner at second. The ball trickled into center field putting runners at first and second with just one out.

With the game very much in doubt, Walker was able to escape the inning, setting the stage for the Vikings to break the game open.

“Our girls have been in that situation before,” Samohi Head Coach Debbie Skaggs said. “I knew [Walker] could get out of it.

“Celisha is all nails.”

The Vikings wasted little time responding to the brief threat.

Hayley Condon began the bottom of the third with a blast off the left field fence, narrowly missing a home run. Kelsey Hom, who led the team with four runs batted in, promptly sacrificed Condon to third, setting up the game’s most pivotal moment.

Walker followed and slapped a single into left field, scoring Condon and giving the Vikings the only run they would need.

“The better team won today,” El Segundo Head Coach Keith Cameron said. “They hit the heck out of the ball.”

Cameron, who coached his team to the division finals last year, said that he sees big things in the future for Samohi.

“I think Santa Monica will make a good run if they keep playing like this,” Cameron said.

daniela@smdp.com

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