Dana Kiedaisch scored what proved to be the winning run. Hardly anyone saw it happen.
While her teammates were busy celebrating the tying run, and her opponents were busy preparing for the next batter, Kiedaisch was busy charging down the third-base line.
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Kiedaisch’s heads-up baserunning highlighted a four-run seventh inning as MacArthur defeated Oceanside, 5-2, on Thursday in a rematch of last season’s county championship series.
“All I was watching was where the ball was going,” Kiedaisch said. “It was perfect timing.”
Kiedaisch used to be a righthanded hitter. But because of her speed, MacArthur coach Bobby Fehrenbach converted her into a lefty slapper to give her something of a running start down the line. That speed was on display twice in the seventh inning Thursday.
With MacArthur trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Hannah Rommel hit a one-out single, and went to second on a wild pitch. Kiedaisch then bunted and beat out the throw to put runners on the corners. Shannon Myles walked on four pitches to load the bases for Ashley Budrewicz, who hit a sharp grounder to third. The throw home was bobbled, allowing Rommel to score the tying run and Kiedaisch to advance to third.
Teammates cheered and greeted Rommel near the bench, when seconds later, to their surprise, they were joined by Kiedaisch. Allow her to explain how she got there.
“The pitcher walked toward the plate and the catcher handed her the ball,” said Kiedaisch, who gave MacArthur a 3-2 lead. “They were talking and the pitcher was facing the field. Nobody saw me and I ran home.”
Gabby DeNunzio and Ali Verdi each tacked on an insurance run. “I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to do it,” Budrewicz said. “We are really good in those pressure situations.”
As was Budrewicz’s twin sister and battery mate, Jessica, who struck out 10 and allowed five hits in the win. Myles’ RBI single in the fifth tied it at 1.
Grace Bandini went 2-for-3 for Oceanside, which defeated MacArthur for the county championship last season. She doubled in the sixth and scored on Taylor Eisel’s sacrifice fly to give Oceanside a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
That paved the way for the MacArthur rally, and the winning run that few saw.
“Always,” Kiedaisch said, “watch the runners.”
Or you may miss something.