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Heritage softball blanks Rockdale 5-0 on Senior Night

CONYERS - The Heritage Lady Patriots made some opportunities of their own and took advantage of Rockdale mistakes for a 5-0 Senior Night win Tuesday.

"We've got eight seniors and we're going to miss them all. We started all eight tonight, generally we start six of them," Heritage coach Dickey Hightower said. "It was nice to win a game on Senior Night."

Two of Heritage's runs were a direct result of over zealous play.

The first run scored in the bottom of the second inning when Jessica Hornsby crossed the plate when the Rockdale catcher tried to catch Jessica Martin off second base.

Their final run, in the fifth, came on a bobbled throw which allowed Callie Alford to score to make it 5-0.

"They helped us a little bit but you have to take advantage of what they give you too," Hightower said. "I thought we hit the ball well, I thought we hit the ball hard. We have to keep at it. We have to put the ball in play and make them play with it and we're OK."

The Lady Patriots also helped themselves with nine hits including doubles by Whitney Phillips and Alford and a Kaite Cuson triple.

Heritage pitcher Jamie Melson kept the Lady Bulldogs off the scoreboard striking out four batters while allowing four hits and one hit batsman.

"Jamie had a great outing, I'm not kidding; she always has a great outing. Nobody is going to hit her real hard, but they will hit her because she's not overpowering. But she will put the ball where she wants to and she just does a great job on the mound," Hightower said.

Heritage made it 3-0 with two runs in the third with RBI singles by Hornsby and Melson.

Phillips plated Jaclyn Queen for the other run in the fourth inning.

Hornsby paced Heritage at the plate going 3-for-3 with Alford getting two hits.

"It was a closer game than what the score was. I just think it's coming together," Rockdale coach Holly Hamilton said. "Our chemistry still is not all there, we're making little (mistakes). Like not catching the ball properly and a couple of throws, a little bobble here and a little bobble there. But overall, they played pretty good tonight."

The Lady Bulldogs almost scored in the top of the fifth when Quilla Franklin was caught in a run down. Unfortunately, she was tagged before Sammy Girardot could cross the plate.

Getting hits for Rockdale were Katie Ferrell, Kara Johnson, Tiana Houston and Franklin.

"As long as the girls learn and they can grow from it" Hamilton said, "it'll help us in the future."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.