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Southern Section Switches Dates for Division I, II Softball Finals


The Southern Section office Wednesday switched the dates for the Division I and II softball finals.

Because of conflicts with Friday evening graduation ceremonies at La Puente Bishop Amat, and because Simi Valley is scheduled to play in the softball and baseball finals at the same time at different sites, the section office switched dates for the softball games.

The Division II softball game between Charter Oak and Bishop Amat was moved to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lakewood's Mayfair Park.

Los Alamitos and Simi Valley, originally scheduled for Saturday's late softball game, will play Friday at 7:30 p.m., also at Mayfair Park.

The change does not affect the Division III softball game, pitting Laguna Hills against Irvine at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Division I baseball final was unaffected; it will be played at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at Anaheim Stadium. Simi Valley plays Esperanza.

"We have conflicts now and then," said Karen Hellyer, administrator in charge of softball. "This happened to work out really good so they were both staying on the same time frame, just on different days."


La Habra pitcher Dani Ortega said she never pitched better over a prolonged period than she did in the Division II softball playoffs. Ortega gave up one run in the playoffs, an unearned run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning in a 1-0 semifinal loss to Covina Charter Oak, the state's top-ranked team.

Over her four-game stretch, she pitched 28 2/3 innings, struck out 45, gave up nine hits and walked seven. Opponents batted .094 against her.

Although she had a perfect game against Los Altos to open the streak, her best game in the streak was against Charter Oak. At one point, nine consecutive outs were by strikeout, including seven straight. She struck out the side on nine pitches in the third inning. Two of the Chargers' four hits were infield pop-ups, including the game-winning RBI, the other a soft fly over the second baseman and a well-placed ground ball through the left side.

"This is a good as it gets," Ortega said. "I give a lot of credit to (Charter Oak's 28-0 pitcher) Christy Tucker. I tend to be more competitive when the other pitcher is as good or better than I am, and she definitely qualifies."

Ortega will pitch for Massachusetts next year; Tucker will play for Cal State Long Beach.


The loss to Charter Oak marked the second consecutive year La Habra had been beaten in the semifinals. The Highlanders had three players with three years of varsity experience, and three with four years. They said Tuesday's loss was especially tough.

"I really believed we had the capabilities of going all the way," senior Meagan Mirth said. "Last year, I did too, but this year seemed so much more real to me."

Ortega said she felt La Habra was the best team on the field, but her team's failure to communicate on the decisive pop-up was the difference. It also made the defeat a little tougher to handle.

"I would rather (Lisa Iancin) pull it and hit a home run for them to win the game," Ortega said.


Doctors began induced labor on Los Alamitos softball Coach Jami Shannon at about 6 a.m. Tuesday, and she gave birth at 5:12 p.m. to a son, Austin James, who weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and who was 21 inches long.

The child--Mark and Jami Shannon's first--was 11 days overdue, and the procedure forced Shannon to miss her team's 1-0 victory over Camarillo in the Division I semifinals. Shannon expects to be in the dugout directing her team for Friday's final. She missed two playoff games because doctors would not allow her to travel.


Costa Mesa Coach Don Hunt, whose baseball team went 3-22 this season, will not return to the school in the fall, Athletic Director Myron Miller said.

Hunt, the fourth walk-on coach in five years at Costa Mesa, leaves under amicable circumstances after one season. Miller said Hunt's replacement would be an on-campus coach with a teaching position in the math department.


Craig Gutjahr, a water polo player from Kennedy High School, has signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

Gutjahr, who was first-team All-Garden Grove League and a Times Orange County honorable mention, will major in business economics and computer science.


Jess Courvoisier, an infielder and pitcher for Orange Lutheran, has signed a letter of intent to play at Azusa Pacific next fall, a school representative said Wednesday.

He hit .513 with seven home runs for the Lancers.


The 16th annual Orange County high school volleyball all-star matches will be played Friday night at Golden West College.

The girls' match will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the boys' match at approximately 7:30 p.m. Both matches will be best of three, with rally scoring in the third game.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.

The boys' rosters:

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