VERSAILLES – There is something special going on at Miami East as the Lady Vikings are battle tested and find ways to pull out wins where it seams like things aren’t going their way.
This was evident on Monday as Miami East found itself down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning against Waynesville in the sectional tournament at Versailles High School.
Leading 2-1, the Lady Vikings suffered a huge blow in the sixth as Waynesville connected on a home run to tie the score at 2-2.
To make matters worse, a Miami East runner was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, which would have been the winning run.
The game went into extra innings and Waynesville took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Miami East was down to its last out when Jacqueline Kadel delivered a game-tying single to score Megan Gilliand.
“She (Jacqueline Kadel) had flashed me the sign that she wanted me to have her bunt,” Brian Kadel said. “She is a good bunter and I know she was thinking it would put two runners on for Kyleigh (Kirby). But, not in that situation. Jacqueline (Kadel) has been a good contact hitter all year.”
Brian Kadel, the father, was right and his daughter did what he asked. It resulted into a game-winning situation as senior Kyleigh Kirby came to the plate and drilled a walk-off home run for a 5-3 win.
“Kyleigh had a tough day at the plate up to that point,” Brian Kadel said. “But, she had a different look this time. I knew she was ready and I never doubt Kyleigh.”
Prior to the big swing that sealed the thrilling victory, Kirby had went 0-for-4 at the plate.
But Kirby is at a different level with a bat in her hands as evident by the 11 home runs she hit prior to tonight’s game.
“I knew it was out when I hit it,” Kirby said. “And I never think that. But, this time I just knew. It just felt good to help the win. It’s my senior year.”
Runs were very hard to come by as the game was scoreless heading into the fifth inning.
That’s when both teams were able to finally break through and put runners across the plate.
Miami East then took a 2-1 lead when Kayly Fetters scored on a fielder’s choice.
Waynesville tied it 2-2 in the sixth on a home run by Jenna Bulcher, which led to up-and-down emotions over the remainder of the game – especially for Miami East as the Lady Vikings missed opportunities to end the game in the seventh and eighth innings.
In the seventh, Gilliand was on third with one out after doubling when Waynesville knocked down a hard grounder to third and managed to throw Gilliand out at home.
In the eighth, Miami East had runners at first and second with no outs when a line drive led to the runner being doubled off at second. It was the second time a Miami East runner was doubled off the base in the game.
Fortunately for Miami East, being battle tested due to its brutal schedule paid dividends when the game was on the line.
In the end, it came down to Coach Kadel knowing what needed to be done and senior Kyleigh Kirby coming up with the biggest hit of her career.