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Norco Wraps Up Its Mystery Tour

June 08, 2003|Martin Henderson

The improbable championship run of Norco reached its climax Saturday as the Cougars defeated their fifth consecutive league champion, Whittier California, 2-1, to claim the Southern Section Division II softball title at Barber Park in Irvine.

It was the first championship appearance for Norco (23-8), the third-place team from the Mountain View League. The Cougars have only one senior, Briana Goad, who opened the game with a triple to right field and scored on the next pitch, a fly ball by Jamie Lowe that was dropped by left fielder Sonia Mormon.

"It comes down to momentum, and we weren't able to get momentum back on our side until it was too late," California pitcher Jennifer Davis said.

California (27-6-1), ranked No. 8 in the Southland by The Times, was the third consecutive top 25 team beaten by Norco.

Norco took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Daniela Urincho hit a two-out single, took third on Keri Davidson's hit-and-run single and scored on an error by third baseman Jennifer Griffin, one of three errors committed by California.

Urincho gave up only two runs over the final 10 games.

Santa Barbara-bound Davis (26-6) had thrown shutouts in 15 of her previous 16 games, but Urincho (21-6) was unfazed. She gave up only three hits, all in the sixth inning, none of them hit with authority. She struck out eight and didn't walk anyone.

"Not that everybody else hasn't done a great job, but [Urincho] really stepped up and carried the team on her back," Coach Rick Robinson said.

-- Martin Henderson

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