CONYERS - The 2007 softball season saw Heritage take a significant step in the right direction.
In fact, the Lady Patriots have shown consistent improvement the past two years under coach Dickey Hightower.
After finishing 10-20 in 2005, Hightower and company have turned in two winning seasons.
The Lady Patriots finished 13-11 in 2006 and added to that win total with a 17-13-1 record this season.
Although Heritage still fell short in its quest of a state tournament berth, Hightower can't deny that the program appears to be moving in the right direction.
Some of the season highlights included a second-place finish in the Statesboro tournament as well as advancing to the Gold Bracket of the Watermelon Tournament in Cordele.
Hightower also noted a 2-1 win over Evans during the regular season and a 6-3 win over Habersham Central in the region tournament as significant victories.
"It was good to get few wins against some of the upper-tier teams in the region," Hightower said.
The best news for the Lady Patriots is that many of their starters will return next season. Heritage had seven juniors on this year's roster.
Heritage loses two seniors from this year's team - Kristen Gordy and Alycia Colquitt.
"Of course we will miss our seniors, but we only have two, so we will get the majority of our starters back," Hightower said. "Overall, we were improved over last year, but we still need to get better to have a really good year for our seven seniors that we will have next year."
Whitney Phillips, Jaclyn Queen, Katie Cuson, Jessica Hornsby, Jamie Melson, Kat Baize and Ashlii Ward will all be seniors next fall.
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.