Heritage wins Softball in the Sand tournament

The Heritage softball team kept cruising along last weekend in Brunswick. The Patriots went 4-0 and won the championship of the platinum division at the Softball in the Sand Tournament.

Heritage stayed unbeaten at 9-0 despite allowing its first earned run of the season.

That earned run came in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Vidalia, a top-6 team in Class AA a year ago. The pitching staff’s first blemish didn’t seem to bother Kamryn Toney as the sophomore pitched a complete game and struck out 10 to get the Patriots to the tournament championship game.

“We knew (Vidalia was) pretty good and they swing the bats pretty well,” said Heritage coach Jason McBay. “Kamryn Toney kind of carried us as far as pitching.”

Carri Wilkerson was a double short of the cycle against the Indians, driving in single runs with a triple in the first, home run in the fourth and a single in the fifth. In the final, Heritage shut out North Forsyth 6-0 behind ace Kierra Camp. The right-hander and Georgia Southern commitment shook off a back injury from earlier in the tournament and shut down the Raiders with a complete game, four-hitter with 10 strikeouts.

North Forsyth, a Class AAAAAA playoff team in 2012, led off the bottom of the first with a triple against Camp, but Camp got a strikeout and the Raiders blew a chance at grabbing the first lead when Heritage foiled a suicide squeeze attempt.

Camp allowed little else after that.

“That lead off triple didn’t end up scoring, it sort of set the tone for the whole game,” said McBay. “It kind of set the mood.”

On the tournament’s first day, Heritage defeated Calvary Day and Savannah Country Day. In the 3-0 victory in the opener against Calvary, Toney got her stellar tournament off to a dominant start, striking out nine and allowing just three hits in a complete game win. Toney and Camp led the way at the plate as each delivered a run-scoring single.

“We didn’t play very well - five hour bus ride, we were rolling off the bus ride and had to play in about 45 minutes,” McBay said.

Camp’s back injury forced her out of the 11-4 win over SCD, which allowed Skylar Harrison a rare start. The freshman pitched five innings of three-hit ball, allowing four runs, though none were earned, and struck out eight in her varsity debut on the mound.

“The main thing for (Harrison) right now is we’re really working hard to develop her for next year,” McBay said. “Every time she goes out there she gets better.”

Addy Allegretti came up big at the plate, delivering three hits, two RBIs and five stolen bases, while King University commitment Diamond Callwood added a two-run single, and Toney (rbi-triple), Heidi Shepherd (rbi-double), Germecia Joseph (pinch-hit RBI-single) all contributed to the Patriots’ second-highest scoring output of the season.

Overall, it was interesting weekend for Heritage. Shepherd, normally the starting catcher, had an illness and freshman Morgan Whiten was behind the plate for three of the four games. Add in first baseman and a mainstay in the middle of the batting order, Taylor Moser, missing the tournament and Camp’s uncertainty, it was an impressive trip south for the Conyers school.

“It was kind of a hectic weekend…ended up catching Morgan Whiten three of the four games, she stepped up big time for us. I felt like we grew in a lot of areas, some of the areas that might have been questionable coming in,” McBay said. “We didn’t play our best ball (but) I felt we did in the championship game. Saturday, we were back to our old selves again and really played to the standard that we expect. It was a good weekend overall.”

Heritage, 4-0 in Region 8-AAAAA, returns to league play tonight with a 5:30 p.m. game at Cedar Shoals.