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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Orange County: Five things from the weekend


1. If you're going to lose a game, you might as well do so in epic fashion. That's what happened to Anaheim Canyon in its first Southern Section Softball Championship. The Comanches, who were a third-place team from their league, took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning on the strength of Cheyanne Tarango's pitching and a home run by Taylor Swearingen. But three walks brought up Corona Santiago's best hitter with the bases loaded and two outs; Lauren Sweet hit a grand slam to win the game. It has to rank as one of the best finals ever.

2. Cypress Oxford Academy was vying for its third consecutive title, but the Patriots were beaten by Pasadena Poly, 10-0. It was a stark contrast to the softball final. Given the choice, we're guessing Oxford Academy -- which finished 26-3 -- would have preferred to go down in epic fashion, too. They weren't the only losers in the finals. Esperanza, which had earlier in the playoffs beaten second-seeded Mater Dei, scored in the first inning but did no damage afterward in a 7-1 loss to Riverside North in the Division 1 championship.

3. Mission Viejo's rollercoaster season ended with a championship. The unseeded Diablos, who were even more highly regarded than Huntington Beach Edison at the beginning of the season, lost 13 games but won the one that counted; they defeated Etiwanda for the Division 2 baseball title behind pitcher Willie Kuhl. In the battle of the Pacific Coast League, Irvine Beckman won a Division 4 title with a 4-1 victory over Irvine Woodbridge. James Kaprielian -- who pitched in every playoff game for Beckman -- won with a four-hitter and Zack Rivera homered.

4. Irvine University won its second consecutive section championship in boys' tennis with a 14-4 victory over Harvard-Westlake. The Trojans didn't lose all year behind tennis ace Gage Brymer, and they're losing only one starter off this year's team. Uni wasn't the only county winner. In a raucous contest in Division 3, Sage Hill defeated Valencia, 10-8.

5. There were three Orange County athletes who won state championships, but none did so in the manner of Jantzen Oshier, who lowered his nation-leading time in the 1,600 meters to run the second-fastest time in state meet history, 4:00.83. He just missed breaking the 4-minute barrier. Also standing atop the podium were Cody Crampton of Anaheim Canyon (high jump, 6-11) and Ethan Cochran of Newport Harbor (discus, 185-9).