SAMOHI — Looks like another dominant Ocean League season is in the offing for Santa Monica High School’s softball team.

The defending CIF-Southern Section Division 4 champs again proved that for the 10th straight year the league title would have to go through the Vikings as Samohi dispatched Hawthorne 11-1 in five innings Wednesday on campus. Samohi improves to 2-0 in league and 6-8 overall.

“They are a strong team,” Hawthorne head coach Jerry Contreras said of the Vikings. “Samohi is still the favorite.”

The game began quickly for the Vikings, who scored four runs in the first inning off Hawthorne starting pitcher Elisa Marin. Marin was pulled in the middle of the first-inning rally after surrendering the four runs, but Hawthorne’s prospects didn’t improve as the game wore on. While Hawthorne would escape the first inning rally, it didn’t take long for the Vikings to strike again.

The Vikings would put another four runs on the board during a fourth inning that was highlighted by a double off the wall in left field by Sara Garcia that plated lead-off hitter Meghan Bradley and Jamie Hom.

“Today was one of our better games,” first-year Samohi head coach Marybell Moreno said. “In fact, it may have been our best yet.”

Moreno said that her team has started to come together after beginning the season with five straight losses. She admitted that she would relish the opportunity to face some of those teams again to see what a little seasoning has done for her squad.

“Most of those losses we did to our selves,” she said. “I think we’re starting to come together at the right time.”

If Wednesday was any indicator, Moreno may be on to something. In addition to the team’s strong day on offense, the team was led by senior pitcher Natalie Abel, who pitched five innings with two strikeouts en route to the victory.

Like Moreno, Abel likes what she sees.

“I think we’re starting to mesh,” Abel said. “With a lot of young players, the upperclassmen have had to show them how to play at this level.”

She said that the slow start was trying on the defending champs, but she’s confident that Samohi should have little trouble capturing a 10th straight league title.

“As long as we don’t make mental mistakes, we’ll be fine,” Abel said. “The physical mistakes are easy to fix, it takes time to teach young players to be mentally tough, to know that we can’t quit.”

Next for Samohi is a league game against Beverly Hills today at 3:15 p.m.

daniela@www.smdp.com

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