Heritage’s Jamiya Barker tries to stand up after the ball got away from Newton third baseman Katy Amons during the first inning on Thursday. (Staff photo: Manny Fils)
COVINGTON — The Heritage bats were finding their spots while the head coach found a nick in Newton’s defense as the Lady Patriots downed Newton 8-0 in six innings on Thursday.
“Some days everything goes right and some days it seems like you hit it right at them,” Heritage head coach Jason McBay said. “I kind of expected us to come out a little flat because we had a near perfect game (Wednesday). It’s a young team, I kind of expect them to come out flat but sometimes you have to rely on executing and that’s what opened it up in the fifth inning.”
Already winning 1-0 following an unearned run in the fourth inning, the Lady Patriots laid down four straight bunts scoring two runs taking a 3-0 lead.
“They saw that our third baseman was playing back, she wasn’t moving, knew she wasn’t ready, wasn’t really in the ball game, had prior mistakes so therefore they took advantage which is what any team would do. They laid it down and executed well,” Newton head coach Ashley Coles said. “Do I think we should’ve gotten some outs on those bunts? Very much so. But we weren’t there to cover them.”
The Lady Patriots got on the board in the fourth inning when Jamiya Barker advanced to third when a throw following a caught line drove hit. The throw to third trying to get Barker went in to the dugout allowing the runner to score.
Heritage took advantage of miscues in the sixth allowing Addy Allegretti to score before Destiny Herrera powered the ball over the fence making it a 5-0 game.
“She had a good day all around. Our starting catcher, Morgan Whiten, injured her thumb so we had to move Destiny, who is normally our first baseman, behind the plate. I think she stepped up all over the place,” McBay said. “She stepped up big defensively and with the home run. Honestly, her catching was probably bigger than hitting that home run. That’s how big she was for us.”
Errors, including dropped foul ball before Germecia Joseph hit an RBI double, allowed the Lady Patriots to add three more runs to their tally.
“Errors are contagious. Our team for some reason is a very emotional team and they’re very up and down,” Coles said.
Seven of Heritage’s batters made contact with the ball as the Lady Patriots finished with eight hits with Joseph leading her team with two hit hits.
The Lady Patriots’ Kamryn Toney got the win in the circle holding the Newton to three hits while striking out two batters and no walks.
Ciara Bryan had two hits, both doubles, for the Lady Rams with Ashton McKinnon getting the other hit. Even though a lot went bad for the Lady Rams, Coles did see things that she liked and felt that she can build on to get Newton headed back on track.
“I felt like our outfield showed up,” Coles said. “Our left fielder, Merlexia Maddox, probably made four or five outs. I thought that was big time. Our center fielder, Caitlin Bowen, also caught a ball that I heard everyone yell ‘they burned her’ but she got to it. I feel like we’ve put a lot of time into our outfield and it showed.”