High-SchoolCalifornia: Nikki Innamorato

Saturday softball: No. 1 Norco wins

June, 3, 2012
After building 6-0 lead, the Cougars hold on to beat Santiago of Corona 6-4 in CIF Southern Section Division I final. Cal-Hi Sports state divisional No. 1 teams Chino Hills and La Canada also win CIFSS titles.

Three years ago, Norco High’s softball team won the CIF Southern Section Division I title with a 32-2 record. That team was No. 3 in the final ESPNHS POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings.

On Saturday night at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine, the Cougars won the same title by topping Santiago of Corona 6-4 and posted an almost-exact 31-2 record. This team, however, is going to be No. 1 in all the rankings.

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New Cal-Hi Sports Softball Top 20

March, 21, 2012
Unbeaten Orange Lutheran surges to No. 4 after another week of significant victories. Highest rising newcomers are West Ranch of Valencia and James Logan of Union City.

A great deal of the movement in this week’s state softball top 20 revolves around teams from the Sunset League in the CIF Southern Section.

Sunset member Los Alamitos, which was No. 1 in the state two weeks ago, lost its second straight game on Monday and fell down to No. 19 in this week’s rankings. Sunset teams going up, however, would be new No. 13 Edison of Huntington Beach plus bubble team Fountain Valley.

Combined with Marina of Huntington Beach, which stayed at No. 5 in this week’s state rankings, the Sunset has four teams close to being among the top 20 in the state.

(Through games played Tuesday, March 20)
(Previous ranking in parentheses)

1. (1) Norco 7-0
With the help of a nine-run inning, the Cougars picked up a 12-4 win over defending CIF Southern Section Division I champ Santiago of Corona to end the week after earlier defeating Roosevelt of Corona 6-0. In their first five games, the Cougars had failed to score more than four runs in a game before having their bats come alive in a big way last week.

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