Norco (Calif.), which has been ranked as the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Super 25, will be No. 1 no longer.
That is because No. 6 Los Alamitos handed Norco its first loss of the season, 3-1, in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship game Saturday night.
Ryan Denhart allowed three hits and had a pair of crucial seventh-inning strikeouts for Los Alamitos and the game ended on a great catch by Jenna Kean in left-center. The entire team then went to the outfield to celebrate in a big pile.
Denhart had a perfect game going through four innings. Norco pitcher Taylor Dockins, who singled, in the fifth, was the only batter to reach base through the first six innings.
Mikayla Allee’s home run in the seventh provided Norco with its only run. Dockins followed with another single, but Los Alamitos finished the game on two strikeouts and Kean’s grab.
Norco (33-1) had beaten Los Alamitos (28-3) in April in the Michelle Carew Classic 1-0, but not on this night.
“I told them when we were in pregame today, ‘We’ve beat every team that we’ve played this year,’ ” Griffins coach Rob Weil told the Orange County Register. “We lost to La Habra, played them the second game and beat them. Played Mission Viejo, beat them in the second game. I said, ‘Let’s go out and do the same thing tonight.’ ”