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Notebook: Norco softball team win TOC title, more challenges ahead this week

The Norco softball team cemented its status as the nation’s No. 1 team after capturing the title at the prestigious Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ari.
The Cougars claimed the TOC title for a fourth time and second time in three seasons.
Norco outscored the competition 32-3 over five tournament games, including a 5-0 win over Los Alamitos in the championship. Paige Smith belted two home runs and drove in five runs during the title game, and Sarah Willis fired a one-hitter with five strikeouts.
The toughest challenge came in the semifinals against Marina. Norco trailed 1-0 after four innings, the only time it has faced a deficit this season. The game was decided in extra innings, with Norco scoring two runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 4-2 victory. Related Articles

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Norco jumps back in action this week with a pair of challenging Big VIII League games.
Tuesday, Norco hosts longtime rival Santiago, which is out to a 5-1-1 start this season. Santiago has victories over Los Alamitos and Mater Dei and also tied Orange Lutheran. Thursday, Norco will host Centennial, which defeated Grand Terrace and Upland last week.
“We have to make sure to keep our focus every game,” Norco coach Rick Robinson said.
The Aquinas softball team steamrolled the competition at the Desert Winds Classic in Mesquite, Nev.
The Falcons outscored their four opponents 53-1, including a 15-0 victory over Legacy (North Las Vegas) in the championship game.
Reina Castillo tossed a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and also went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs against Legacy. Dannika Merlos, Anissa Villalobos and Elleana Navarro also knocked in three runs for the Falcons in the title game.
Aquinas (11-0) is the No. 1 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 poll.
The Great Oak and Roosevelt track and field teams were among the big winners at last week’s Nike Rendondo Invitational.
Great Oak swept the 4 x 800 relay events, with the boys team registering a time of 8 minutes, 3.68 seconds and the girls team winning in 9:22.97. Great Oak’s girls also won the distance medley race in 12:20.73.
Roosevelt meanwhile swept the 4 x 400 relay events. The boys team won in 3:22.56, while the girls won in 3:55.24.
Ayala’s Mikaela Ramirez won the girls 3,200-meter race in 10:32.67. She also finished second in the 1,600 metes in 5:00.37.
Great Oak’s Jack Wright won the boys pole vault title with a personal-best mark of 15 feet.
King’s Reyte Rash swept the hurdling events at last week’s Bronco Invitational in Rancho Bernardo.
Rash, a senior, won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.70 seconds, 0.66 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. He also won the 300-meter title in 38.64, 1.63 seconds better than the next competitor. Rash made a rapid ascension last season and finished third at the CIF State meet in the 300 hurdles. His top time of 38.55 seconds ranks second in the state in 2019.

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