Los Alamitos softball falls to Norco in finals of Dave Kops Tournament of Champions

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Los Alamitos and Norco slugged it out Saturday night in Bullhead City, Ariz. for one of the biggest prizes of the softball season.

The Cougars’ bats had a bit more muscle.

Senior Riley Potter belted a go-ahead, grand slam in the sixth inning to help lead Norco past Los Alamitos 13-8 in the finals of the 27th Dave Kops Tournament of Champions.

The teams combined for 25 hits, including a pair of three-run home runs, and four lead changes.

Los Alamitos (7-2) appeared to duel the Cougars (11-0) without its coach Rob Weil, who was ejected in a 10-5 victory against Pacifica in the semifinals after an exchange with the home plate home umpire.

Here’s the video of the play

— Dan Albano (@ocvarsityguy) March 12, 2023

The championship game was a striking contrast of Norco’s 3-0 win against Los Alamitos on Feb. 11.

Potter, a Quinnipiac University commit, gave the Cougars a 10-8 lead with a grand slam with one out in the sixth. Norco added three runs in the seventh in cap the scoring.

The blast by Potter answered a three-run home run by Los Alamitos third baseman Giselle Alvarez in the fourth that lifted the Griffins to a 7-5 lead.

👀Los Al’s Giselle Alvarez responds with her own 3-run HR! ⁦@LosAl_Softball⁩ takes 7-5 lead in the 4th v Norco and adds on to make it 8-5 ⁦@ocvarsity⁩ 🥎 ⁦@gisellealv42⁩

— Dan Albano (@ocvarsityguy) March 12, 2023

Taryn Clements followed three batters later with an RBI single to extend the cushion to 8-5.

The shot by the Washington-bound Alvarez arrived after a three-run home run by Mya Perez in the top of the fourth, a towering shot that gave Norco a 5-4 lead. The Texas A & M-bound Perez went 3 for 4 with four RBIs.

👀@MyaPerez2023 doing her thing in Bullhead City, 3-run HR with two outs in the fourth and @NorcoHSSoftball takes a 5-4 lead v Los Al @ocvarsity 🥎

— Dan Albano (@ocvarsityguy) March 12, 2023

Los Alamitos scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-2 advantage. Clements and Malayna Terrones drove in the runs with consecutive, two-run hits.

Catcher Allyssa Ramos went 3 for 4 to help pace the Griffins’ offense. Alvarez, Gabby Terrones and Clements each had two hits.

Kimberly Neal fired 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for Norco, which claimed the title for the first time since 2019. The sophomore allowed only one hit and walked one.

Los Alamitos starter Berkley Vance left with no outs in the fifth and an 8-5 lead.

In the third-place game:

Pacifica 5, Hamilton 4: Alysa Del Val launched a go-ahead, three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth and Brynne Nally protected the lead with two strikeouts in the seventh to rally the Mariners (7-3).

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