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Camp's No-Hitter Puts Heritage In State Tournament

— With the Heritage softball team knocking on the door to the state tournament, Kierra Camp was just about perfect. The right-hander threw a no-hitter, allowing just a seventh-inning walk, in a 4-0, win in the deciding game of the Region 8-AAAA Tournament first round series with Salem. The No. 3 seed Patriots, who won the opener 8-2, will travel to Danielsville Saturday to start a best-of-three series with No. 2 seed Madison County with a berth in the region finals on the line.

Camp was perfect through six innings, but walked Rylee Rogers to start the seventh for the No. 6 seed Seminoles' first base-runner. No problem for the sophomore Camp, who got a double play and a ground ball to finish the no-hitter. Heritage got Camp all the runs she would need in the top of the first. Facing Rogers, Diamond Callwood led off the game with a walk, stole second and scored on Simone Davenport's ground out. Later, Camp singled, stole second and third and came around to score when catcher Kara Bassett's throw sailed into left field. A pair of doubles by Heidi Shepherd and Carri Wilkerson helped make it 4-0 in the sixth, which was more than enough for the dominant Camp.

"I'm really proud of the girls, they're a great group," said Heritage coach Dickey Hightower.

Camp pitched a four-hit complete game to win the first game. Salem grabbed the first lead of the game, stringing together three hits in the top of the first, the last of which from Peyton Canty that drove in Taylor Beauchamp for a 1-0 lead. Camp, who struck out seven, settled in after that, not allowing a hit until Whitney Lester singled in the seventh.

Heritage quickly erased the early deficit, scoring twice against Rogers in the home half of the first. With one out, Kayla Phillips singled and Davenport walked. After a pop out, Shepherd ripped a two-run single to put the Patriots up for good at 2-1. Shepherd added a run-scoring single and Heritage took advantage of two Salem errors to add three unearned runs in the fifth, and Davenport's RBI-triple capped a three-run sixth.

"We were able to take advantage of some things, we woke up enough," said Hightower. "It was a 'W', we played well enough to win. As long as you win you're OK."

Now Heritage will try and reverse a recent trend against the two-time defending league champion Red Raiders. The Patriots have lost seven consecutive games to Madison, including in last season's region title game.