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MEMORIAL PARK — Somebody should have told Culver City it was Kelly Ricard’s birthday.

On the same day Samohi’s Ricard was celebrating her 18th year, her softball team celebrated a 9-1 win over rival Culver City at Memorial Park on Tuesday.

Not only did Ricard receive a victory for her special day, but the senior third baseman drove in three runs and collected a double to deep left. The only downside to her day was being thrown out at third base trying to extend her double into a triple.

“I feel wonderful,” Ricard said. “Glad my team performed so well.”

Ricard wasn’t the only Viking who had a big day.

Sophomore pitcher Sara Garcia allowed just one run in going the distance to collect the win.

Her day at the plate wasn’t bad, either. Garcia was 2-for-2 with a run batted in on a long triple to left field. She also scored three runs in the winning effort.

“She’s really concentrating a little more,” Head Coach Debbie Skaggs said of Garcia. “She’s led our team all year.”

The lone blemish for Garcia came during the top of the third inning when Culver City’s Rosie Hernandez crossed the plate on an RBI single by Rose Kamba.

She settled down after the score, not allowing Culver City to mount much of a threat for the rest of the game. She did tend to work deep into counts against a number of Centaur batters, but still she was able to amass nine strikeouts on the blustery afternoon.

“It was tough to get strikes today,” Garcia said of the umpire’s strike zone. “But I was able to locate a few.”

Skaggs said that Garcia’s tendency of going deep into counts should be remedied with a little more experience. It’s her second year on the mound, but she wasn’t called on to pitch as often as she has done all season for the Vikings. Still, Skaggs said that she isn’t worried about Garcia continuing to develop because of her aggressive approach to the game — both at the plate and on the mound.

The win improves Samohi to 5-0 in Ocean League play, sending Culver City to second place at 4-1.

Next for the Vikings is a tilt at Inglewood on Thursday. That game begins at 3:15 p.m.

After a slow start to start the preseason, Skaggs said that her Vikings are coming around at the right time.

“The chemistry is good,” Skaggs said. “The kids have come a long way this year.”

daniela@www.smdp.com

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