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PREP NOTEBOOK: Patriots finish 3-2 at Morgan County

The Heritage softball team had its long winning streak last weekend at the Morgan County Lady Dog Invitational.

The tournament began with an 8-2 win over former region mate Monroe Area as right-hander Lauren Golden allowed two earned runs in picking up her seventh win of the season and extending the Patriots' streak to 12 consecutive victories.

But the good luck ran out for Heritage against North Oconee in Friday's second game. Facing the Class AA No. 9 Titans, Heritage committed five errors, leading to four unearned runs in a 5-0 loss. It was the Conyers school's first set back since losing to Loganville, August 25.

Heritage didn't let the loss linger for very long as it bounced back later in the evening with a 9-0 win over host Morgan County, then started the Saturday session with a 6-1 victory over Jackson. In both triumphs, ace hurler Kierra Camp was magnificent, following a two-hit shut out with seven strikeouts against Morgan with 14-strikeout dominance against Jackson. Camp also contributed an RBI-double against the Class AA Red Devils, which helped Heritage clinch the No. 2 seed out of its pool.

That set up a match up with a familiar foe in the championship round and things did not go well for the Patriots. Facing the two-time Region 8-AAAA champion Madison County, the Patriots fell 10-2 despite taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on RBI singles from Camp and Heidi Shepherd. Madison, which is ranked No. 7 in Class AAAA, has won six consecutive games against Heritage, including last year's region championship game and two consecutive games in the last two Lady Dog Invitationals. The teams meet again in a region match up tonight at Heritage at 6:30 p.m.

"Overall I thought we played pretty well (in the tournament), except for two rough innings against Madison and the five errors against North Oconee," Heritage coach Dickey Hightower said. "Our girls play hard and they are a great bunch to coach. We know we can play with the teams that have beaten us, but we have to prove it on the field and we get that chance Tuesday."

Nielah Floyd led the way at the plate in the five-game tournament, going 8-for-10 (.800), while Simone Davenport was 8-for-14 (.571).Austin finishes strong with Staten IslandThe end of the 2011 baseball season sure ended a lot different then the previous year for Tyler Austin. The former Heritage stand out completed his first full season in the New York Yankees organization with a promotion and excellent statistics. After hitting .390 (32-for-82) in 20 games with the rookie league Gulf Coast Yankees, Austin was promoted to short-season Staten Island of the New York-Penn League. The third baseman continued to hit with Staten Island, going 31-for-96 (.323) with a .402 on-base percentage in 27 games. That included five playoff games, where Austin hit .429 (9-for-21) and drove in four runs, helping Staten Island capture the New York-Penn League championship for the second time in three seasons. Austin, a 13th round selection of the Yankees in 2010 draft, missed nearly all of his first season in professional baseball with a broken hand.