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Patriots fall in region title game

LOGANVILLE - One big hit was enough to sink the Heritage softball team Thursday. Kensey Caldwell’s two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth gave Loganville the lead for good in a 3-1 victory in the Region 8-AAAAA championship game.

With the victory, the Red Devils (20-9) grabbed the league’s No. 1 seed when the Class AAAAA State Tournament begins next week. Heritage, which had its nine-game winning streak snapped and fell to 28-3, is the No. 2 seed and will host a first-round series in Conyers.

Camp, who was coming off a perfect game in the semi finals against Salem, was cruising, having retired seven straight batters, before the speedy Halie Imler led off the fifth with a double. Two batters later and facing a full count against starter and losing pitcher Kierra Camp, Caldwell snuck a line drive around the left field foul pole.

In six innings, Camp allowed six hits and struck out nine.

Loganville scored the first run of the game in the first, getting Rose Schmidt’s sacrifice fly to go up 1-0. Red Devils right-hander Samantha Britt, who picked up the complete game victory, retired the first five batters of the game before Carri Wilkerson was hit by a pitch with two outs in the second. Wilkerson stole second, then after she also swiped third, catcher Samantha Garmon’s throw sailed into left field and Wilkerson scored to tie it at 1-1.

Britt shut down the Patriots offense after that. Camp ripped a double off the right-center field wall to start the fourth, but two batters later Taylor Moser couldn’t get the bat on the ball on a suicide squeeze bunt attempt for a strike out, and on the play pinch-runner Lakaitlen Barney, running for Camp at third, was caught in an a run down and eventually tagged for the final out of the inning. Britt didn’t allow a base-runner after that, retiring the final nine batters she faced.