There was no denying Norco’s softball team a championship celebration on Saturday night in Irvine.
The onslaught began in the first inning when Sierra Marshall delivered a three-run double. It continued in the second with a Paige Smith grand slam. Norco went on to defeat Cerritos Gahr, 8-2, to win the Southern Section Division 1 championship.
A year ago, Norco was 33-0 when it lost in the championship game to Los Alamitos, 3-1. This time, the Cougars struck early and got their redemption.
Norco (29-3) relied on sophomore pitcher Sarah Willis, who threw a complete game.
Jessica Lopez of Santa Fe threw a no-hitter to lift her team to the Division 4 championship with a 3-0 win over San Marcos. It was her third no-hitter of the playoffs.
Samantha Mancillas had a two-run single for Santa Fe and Aliza Ayon hit a home run.
Newbury Park won its first softball championship by taking the Division 2 title with a 3-1 win over Riverside King.
SeaEnna Satcher was the hitting star. She had an RBI triple and a two-run single. Pitcher Cory Carrillo threw the complete game.
In Division 7, Gardena Serra won its first title with a 12-1 win over Archer.
On Friday, Chaminade won the Division 5 title with a 5-3 win over Riverside North. Gabby Hensley contributed a key two-run single.
West Torrance won Division 3 with a 6-4 win over Redlands East Valley.
In Division 6, Palmdale Highland defeated Mary Star, 13-2. Catalina Aguilar struck out nine.