Camp's Shut Out Keeps Patriots Win Streak Intact

CONYERS -- The Heritage softball team just keeps on winning.

Kierra Camp threw a two-hit shutout and the Patriots got all the runs they would need in the top of the first inning in a 3-0 victory over rival Salem.

With the win, Heritage extended its winning streak to 11 games and improved to 16-4, 7-1 in Region 8-AAAA.

Camp, just a sophomore, tossed four hitless innings in an economical 31 pitches to start the game, allowing just a lead off walk in the second that was erased on a line drive double play. Camp's toughest spots came in the fifth when Rylee Rogers led off with the Seminoles' first hit of the night and Patricia Clark followed with a single. Camp got two fly outs and a strike out to keep the shut out in tact. Salem threatened again in the sixth, loading the bases on an error and a pair of walks, but Camp got a harmless ground out to end the inning.

"Kierra, you can't beat her,. She bares down," said Heritage coach Dickey Hightower. "They could've tied the game up with a base hit or two, that's what softball is all about. They want to beat us (but) we want to beat them."

"You can't leave the bases loaded with less than two outs and not get a run. You can't do it," said Salem coach Maurice Gibson, whose team fell to 7-6 and 3-4 in league play. "The confidence is there, those girls believe. That's why we were able to compete with a good team. Our issue is creating runs. We got to find a way to get a clutch hit."

Rogers started for Salem and had a rough first inning, but settled in over the next four innings. In that opening frame, Diamond Callwood led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Simone Davenport's double in the gap. Two batters later, Taylor Moser, who is in her first year with Heritage after transferring from neighboring Alcovy, blooped a single to left field that made it 2-0. Rogers was stingy after that, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters she faced before Heritage took a 3-0 lead in the sixth on consecutive doubles by Davenport and Camp. Davenport, an unsigned senior, had added three excellent plays in the field to her perfect day at the plate (she also walked on four pitches in the third and stole a base), while Rogers, a junior, allowed three earned runs and just four hits in a complete game effort.

"Rylee did a great job. That's the thing that Rylee's been doing lately is refocusing," said Gibson.

"(Rogers), she got off to a shaky start, she settled down," Hightower said. "(Rogers and Camp are) two of the best doggone pitchers in the region. Simone played a great ball game. She played great defense."