The Heritage softball team fell short of their goal of reaching the Class AAAAA Elite 8 in Columbus, but the Patriots’ perfect region season was rewarded Wednesday. The Patriots swept the three major awards at the Region 8-AAAAA banquet Tuesday as outfielder Carri Wilkerson was named the player of the year, Kierra Camp received top pitcher honors and Jason McBay was honored as the league’s top coach.
Heritage finished unbeaten against league opponents in winning the school’s first region championship since 2002 and Wilkerson, who hit .452 with team-highs in RBIs (35), stolen bases (39) and a school-record seven triples and Camp, a Georgia Southern commitment who had an 0.52 ERA and hit .404, were joined on the all-region first team by teammates Diamond Callwood, a shortstop and King University commitment who hit .415 and stole 36 bases, first baseman Taylor Moser (.428 average) and No. 2 starter and third baseman Kamryn Toney, who went 11-1 with an 0.31 ERA in 67 1/3 innings pitched.
Salem looks to have a solid core for 2014 and the Seminoles had junior catcher Peyton Mitchell, who hit .391 with a .472 on-base percentage and freshman infielder Kennedy Lester (.500 average, .610 on-base percentage) make the first team.
Heritage will lose Wilkerson, Camp and Callwood to graduation, but has a bright future as well. Along with Toney, a sophomore, freshman Addy Allegretti looks to be a rising star at second base and Allegretti, who hit .355 with 29 stolen bases and teammates LaKaitlen Barney, a junior, and starting catcher Heidi Shepherd, who will graduate next spring, all were named to the second team.
Whitney Lester, Salem’s senior starter who had a 3.03 ERA and hit .380, and freshman infielder Mariah Briney (.320 average) each were selected to the second team.
Heritage junior Jamiya Barker was an honorable mention selection, while Salem’s Kennedy Lester and Ta’lor Bynum were given their respective team’s Hustle Award and Salem’s Alexis Chisman and Toney were named Scholar Athletes at the banquet.