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White Sox 16UEG Kayana Diederich hits home run at tournament honoring her mom

05/10/2018 12:24 PM -

The article below was written by Aaron Ferguson of the Journal Star and can be found by clicking here.

Washington junior Kayana Diederich had plenty to play for this weekend as the Panthers wore pink “Swing for Tisha” shirts at their four-team round-robin tournament Saturday.

Tisha Diederich, Kayana and Eureka College freshman Mason Diederich’s mom, was diagnosed with stage 2, triple positive, breast cancer on Sept. 29, 2017.

“Saturday was really special for my family and I because she’s been fighting this for so long now,” said Kayana. “Seeing all the teams wear the pink I felt as if we had many supporters even though most all of them don’t know us.”

Six innings after Kayana caught her mom’s first pitch to open the tournament, she hit a grand slam to extend the Panthers’ lead in a 12-5 victory in the first game against Princeville. It was an emotional moment for the Diederichs.

“We were warming up and Savannah Budd says to me, ‘You have to hit a home run today for your mom,’ and I responded with, ‘I don’t know if it’ll happen but if it wants to it will,’” Kayana Diederich said. “Within that at-bat (the pitcher) threw nothing but change ups and with a 1-2 (count) I saw another one and swung as hard as I could just trying to get another rally started. Going around the bases I was smiling and just before I tagged home I saw my mom smiling and I knew that I’d made her proud.”

Washington won all three games of the tournament.

A public benefit is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. May 20 at Quail Meadows Golf Course. A gofundme page has also been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-the-diederich-family?member=75810.



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