The 2013 season is expected to be another special one for the Heritage softball team. Wednesday in Conyers the Patriots got off to a promising start. Kamryn Toney and Kierra Camp combined on a one-hitter and the Heritage offense pounded 10 hits in a 9-0 victory in five innings over rival Rockdale.
Heritage, which won 30 games and reached the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs a year ago, defeated its crosstown rival for the fourth consecutive time, outscoring the Bulldogs 30-3 during the stretch. Rockdale, which dropped an 8-0 game to its other rival, Salem Tuesday, remained winless at 0-7.
It was a 5-0 game before Heritage sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. Rockdale’s freshman starter Sidney Driver walked three and allowed a pair of singles in the frame, while Heritage picked up the final three of its 11 stolen bases against the young battery of Driver and sophomore catcher Kaila Gabaree. Toney scored on a wild pitch to make it a 9-0 game.
Camp pitched the final two innings, including a six-pitch fifth on three routine ground outs that ended the game by mercy rule.
The host Patriots jumped on top right away against Driver. In the bottom of the first, Diamond Callwood, who is committed to King University in Tennessee, led off with a double, stole second and moved to third when shortstop India Davis couldn’t handle the throw to second. Callwood scored the first run of the game on a ground out by Camp. Later, the Patriots made it 2-0 on an RBI-double by Taylor Moser, and it was 5-0 through three innings after Morgan Whiten capped a three-run third inning with a run-scoring double.
It could’ve been worse for visiting Rockdale, which is allowing an average of more than 11 runs through seven games.
Heritage made an out at home plate in each of the first innings. Moser was tagged out trying to score on a wild pitch in the first; in the second, the Patriots blew an apparent suicide squeeze play when Jamiya Barker stopped running a few feet short of home, perhaps thinking the ball had been tipped, and was tagged for the second out; and in the third, Whiten’s double scored one run, but pinch-runner LaKaitlen Barney was gunned down after a nice relay by left fielder Tamera Sanders and Davis.
The sophomore Toney worked around an infield single by Davis to start the game and a one-out walk in the first, and allowed just one other base-runner in three shut out innings to pick up the win. Camp, a Georgia Southern committment, put two on in the fourth, but got a pair of strikeouts to end Rockdale’s threat.
While Rockdale will take four days off before hosting Clarke Central August 19 at 5:30 p.m., Heritage will play in the Mill Creek Tournament this weekend. The Patriots begin play Friday with a doubleheader at the West Jackson Softball Complex in Hoschton, which includes games against Collins Hill at 4:00 p.m. and South Forsyth at 6:15 p.m.