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Patriots roll in Atlanta

ATLANTA — Heritage took a trip south to Atlanta for a game with Parkview on Saturday.

Safe to say, the Patriots brought their bats with them. Every hitter in the lineup had at least one RBI and one run scored, and Heritage erased a one-run deficit with a marathon fourth inning to defeat Parkview 20-8 in a run-rule-shortened non-region game at Emory University. The Patriots (15-5) extended their winning streak to 10 games and haven’t lost since Aug. 25.

Trailing 8-7 in the top of the fourth, Heritage took the lead for good with a 13-batter frame. Nielah Floyd ripped a two-run double and Kierra Camp and Diamond Callwood each added a two-run single during the nine-run inning that gave Heritage a 16-8 lead. Callwood’s single, one of five times the sophomore leadoff hitter reached base, chased Parkview starter Taylor Muirhead, though the freshman hurler re-entered and got the final two outs in the fifth. The Panthers, who fell to 6-7, were without the injured Amanda Chambers, the usual No. 1 starter.

“When (Parkview coach Joey Farah) told me she was hurt…we’re going to have a slugfest,” said Heritage coach Dickey Hightower. “We padded our stats. Once we got (20 runs) we wanted to get out in five (innings).”

Heritage had a 3-0 lead after just one half inning, thanks to the first of three run-scoring hits for Kayla Phillips, a wild pitch and Simone Davenport’s solo home run. But Parkview got a run back in the bottom of the first, then sent 11 to the plate in the second to take the lead. With a runner at first and no outs, Muirhead hit a ground ball to Phillips at shortstop and the Heritage infielder appeared to tag Sydney Dalton running to second, but the base umpire said the tag never occurred. That seemed to rattle Patriots starter Lauren Golden, who walked the next two batters, the second forcing in a run, then gave up run-scoring hits to Patty Dennison and Eryn Stepp to help Parkview go up 8-3. Golden settled down after that, scattering two singles and a walk in three scoreless innings.

“I wanted Lauren to go as long as she could (and) she pitched a decent ball game other than the one inning,” Hightower said.