Kennedy's 2-1 victory over Garden Grove on Tuesday had a certain finality to it.
Kristi Hensel finally started a hitting streak, and Nicole Paloney and Lana Jimenez finally won at Twain Field.
The third-ranked Fighting Irish (18-2, 8-1) remained the leaders in the Garden Grove League, tied with Pacifica--which they face Thursday--as they continue a tough three-game stretch against the league's winningest teams. They play Rancho Alamitos early next week.
Hensel, a junior left fielder batting about .200, decided the game in the top of the seventh inning with her first home run. She was supposed to bunt, but pinch-runner Sadie Campos was picked off first base by catcher Jennifer Johnson and Campos was tagged out in a rundown.
With the sacrifice opportunity gone, Hensel delivered a line drive through the left-center field gap and she circled the bases at the open park.
Earlier in the day, she had told the team's scorekeeper, "Today I'm starting my hitting streak."
"I've been looking bad," Hensel said afterward. "It's not funny anymore. I've got to get serious."
She said this with shaving cream on her face, the target of a post-game celebration.
The victory provided some vindication for Paloney (9-1), who finished with a three-hitter, and Jimenez. It was the first time that Kennedy had won a game at Garden Grove's Twain Field in the four years Paloney and Jimenez have started for the Irish.
Their most memorable game there was in 1990--a 20-inning tie halted by darkness that flashed through Paloney's mind when the Argonauts (15-8, 6-3) tied the score in the fifth.
"It was like, 'God, not this again,' " she said.
Kennedy scored in the fourth against Duffy White (11-7). Laurie Fritz singled, Paloney walked and Erryn Gutjahr singled to right field.
Garden Grove answered in the fifth with an unearned run. Wendi Griffin singled and eventually scored on an error.