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Santa Monica Sports Notes

Hornish Leads Samohi Girls In Bid For CIF Playoffs

By Mitch Chortkoff

May 7 --- Some grand entertainment is being provided each week by the Santa Monica High girls softball team.

They play at a fast pace, beginning with swift underhanded pitching and continuing with action on the basepaths. If you haven't seen this sport you'll probably be surprised by the caliber of competition.

Samohi plays in the Bay League, which is tough. But Coach Debbie Skaggs thought she had a contender and the team has done well lately after getting off to a slow start.

The main attraction is Caylin Hornish, a junior who pitches most of the games. She's had a no-hitter this season and usually gives up no more than a few runs.

But here is a twist to the story. Hornish is also a catcher. A lefthanded catcher, one of the few you'll ever see. ``When she plays on teams in the summer catching is her regular position,'' said Skaggs. ``She's very good.'' Hornish is also the team's best hitter. In one game she pitched a 2-0 shutout and drove in a run with a double.

The Santa Monica High boys baseball team is struggling through a difficult season (8-16 record) despite the presence of pitcher Jonas Swyer, who threw two no-hitters last season. Swyer has signed a letter of intent with the University of Connecticut.

On the other end of the campus, on Michigan Ave. off Lincoln Blvd. stands the girls softball field. There are signs on the outfield fences and stands that are frequently filled. ``We have the best ballpark in the league,'' says Skaggs, who has built the program over the last 10 years.

In the game I saw third baseman Ashlee Hitchcock did well. Shortstop Brittany Oliviera, who is also a basketball star, regularly does well. Samohi has a winning league record and is eyeing a berth in the upcoming CIF playoffs.

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