COMING HOME: Samohi's softball team awaits Sara Garcia at home plate after she hit a home run in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 final. (Photo by Wendy Perl)

COMING HOME: Samohi’s softball team awaits Sara Garcia at home plate after she hit a home run in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 final. (Photo by Wendy Perl)

SAMOHI — it was quite a year for Santa Monica softball.

The upstart Vikings captured their 90th straight Ocean League win, they bucked their seeding and beat the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in the playoffs and even reached the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 championship game where they fell to Hemet.

For those efforts, Samohi dominated the All-Ocean League team with eight selections.

Junior shortstop/pitcher Sara Garcia, who was also named to the All-CIF-Southern Section Division 4 team last week, was the Co-Most Valuable Player. Hawthorne outfielder Diana Montenegro was the other MVP.

Sophomore pitcher Whitney Jones was named the Most Outstanding Player.

The first team included catcher Annie Quine, outfielder Jamie Hom, first baseman Marissa Padilla and second baseman Ashley Rakujlic.

The second team selections included outfielder Rachel Paris and infielder Jennifer Eyler.

The honors come following a season that even head coach Debbie Skaggs was surprised by.

Skaggs knew she had a good team led by a number of underclassmen, but thought that a deep run into the playoffs was a year away.

“We really over achieved,” Skaggs said. “They surprised me with how they came together at the end of the year.”

Skaggs may be right about next year being the year after all.

Garcia and Jones return with a crop of underclassmen who proved their worth during a season that saw Samohi return to the Division 4 championship game for the first time since 2010 when they won the whole deal.

“It opened up people’s eyes that not all Westside softball is bad,” Garcia said. “This was a big confidence booster.

“I think that a lot of the girls will work hard because they saw that we could make it that far.”

The coming season will be a bit of a last hurrah for Skaggs.

After 20-plus seasons, minus one two years back, she is most likely not returning the following season.

She plans on staying a teacher at Samohi and is working on further certifications in the meantime.

Garcia looks at Skaggs’ last season as a motivation builder.

“I think we can do it,” Garcia said of a possible championship run next year. “We want her to go out with a bang.”

 

daniela@smdp.com

 

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