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Softball notes: Top teams will collide again this week
While round one went to Mission Viejo and Capistrano Valley, Los Alamitos and Santa Margarita don't have to wait long for a shot at redemption after dropping tournament championships to their fellow top-10 teams.
In two of last week’s bigger local preseason softball tournaments, the Diablos topped the Griffins, 2-0, to win the Best of the West tournament championship game, while the Cougars knocked off the Eagles, 6-1, to claim the Saddleback Valley Tournament title.
As the schedule would have it, both championship finales will see rematches take place Thursday, March 23. No. 3 Los Alamitos will travel to take on No. 2 Mission Viejo, and No. 10 Santa Margarita will host No. 8 Capistrano Valley in nonleague action.
“When you get the opportunity to play against a good team, you’re only going to get better,” Cougars coach Pete Manarino said of matching up against the Eagles. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish – just to get better every single time we come out onto the field. We just want to keep playing, get better, and find what our identity is as a team.”
• The Savanna Rebel Tournament begins Saturday, March 25, at Yorba Regional Park. The 16-team showcase features nine county schools, highlighted by No. 9 Rosary and No. 10 Santa Margarita, who are both in the top half of the bracket. Savanna, Troy, San Juan Hills, Tesoro, Fullerton, Valencia and Sunny Hills round out the group of local competitors. First- and second-round play will take place on Saturday with the first game set for 8 a.m. and the final contest set for an 8:15 p.m. first pitch.
• The Rebel Tournament semifinals are Saturday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m. The championship game will be played at 8:15 p.m. the same evening.
• Gahr High defeated Aliso Niguel, 8-0, in the championship game of the Timberwolf Classic this past Saturday night at Bill Barber Park. The Wolverines defeated Beckman, Dana Hills and Yorba Linda before falling to the top-ranked team in the CIF-SS Division 2 poll. Aliso Niguel’s Kate Polucha and Paige Sandoval were named to the all-tournament team. The Wolverines play No. 10 Santa Margarita and Tesoro this week before opening South Coast League play against No. 2 Mission Viejo on Tuesday, March 28.