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(photo by Morgan Genser)

SAMOHI — Looks like the Vikings’ Kelsey Hom is trading the warm beaches of Santa Monica for the Ivy League.

An integral part of Santa Monica High School’s softball team for the past four seasons, Hom has decided to play for Brown University next season.

“I was skeptical at first,” Hom said. “It’s a small state, it made me nervous. But, when I stepped on campus, I loved it.”

Brown doesn’t award scholarships for softball, but the school is helping her pay for tuition with a variety of grants and other financial aid.

Hom initially considered staying in California and going to Stanford, but she decided she wanted a change of pace and Brown’s Rhode Island address was exactly what she was looking for.

“I figured that if I’m going to go four years, I might as well make it completely brand new,” she said.

Hom’s time at Samohi has been a decorated one. She is a four-year All-Ocean League performer, earning second team honors this year.

She helped lead the Vikings to their 10th straight league title this year and a return to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. Samohi was eliminated in the first round by Loara.

The highlight of Hom’s career came in 2010 when the Vikings won their first CIF-SS title in the sport.

Hom said that she was recruited as a middle infielder, but she has also spent time in the outfield during her time at Samohi.

“The way I see it, I’m sure she can hold her own,” Samohi Head Coach Marybell Moreno said. “But, it isn’t as simple as little league or high school. When you play college ball, that’s some serious stuff.”

Moreno, who is coming off her first year as coach, said that Hom’s familiarity with the sport will serve her well as she moves on to battle for playing time. She said that Hom was successful wherever she was positioned.

In terms of playing college ball, Hom isn’t alone.

Jasmine Reynaga, who played first base and outfield for the Vikings this season, has decided to play for El Camino College, a two-year school in Torrance.

A third senior, Meghan Bradley, is still looking into her options. Moreno said that there are schools interested, but Bradley hasn’t decided where to go.

With this year’s seniors making their college choices, Moreno will now concentrate on getting attention for some of her underclass players.

Specifically, she said that catcher Kelly Ricard has the eye of recruiters and expects her to play some place after high school.

Ricard, who was the most valuable player in the Ocean League this season, plays for Moreno’s travel team over the summer. Travel leagues are known for attracting scouts, giving Ricard a perfect showcase to display her talent.

“You have to go there,” Moreno said of travel leagues. “The first contact with scouts and recruiters happens there. We as coaches follow up and try to get them in those tournaments.”

daniela@smdp.com

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