SAMOHI — If Santa Monica High School’s softball team is nervous heading into its matchup with Garden Grove, they aren’t showing it.

As the team, the No. 2 seed in its division, prepares to host the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 4 second round playoff game today at 3:15 p.m., it isn’t the other team that is occupying the minds of the Samohi Vikings and their coach Debbie Skaggs.

“We have to worry about ourselves,” Skaggs said. “We need to focus on how we play our game.”

That approach was successful last week as the Vikings crushed El Segundo, 12-0, to advance to round two. The game was highlighted by a strong pitching performance by Celisha Walker, who tossed a complete game and added three runs batted in at the plate.

Skaggs will again start Walker on the mound to lead the team against a Garden Grove team that won its league this season.

Walker, like her coach, gave little lip service to Garden Grove and instead said that the Vikings, who won the Ocean League this season, have to look internally to find the motivation to move on to the quarter finals.

“I feel very confident,” Walker said. “We want to win it really bad.”

The Vikings’ success on the diamond is, in part, thanks to a close team that spends a lot of time together off the field.

“We’re all pulling together,” Walker said. “We’re all becoming a tighter team right now.”

daniela@www.smdp.com

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