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Heritage earns state playoff bid
Patriots beat Winder-Barrow 2-0 in softball action
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In his first season as head coach Jason McBay has led Heritage to the state playoffs.

Heritage defeated Winder-Barrow 2-0 on Tuesday to seal at least a second seed in the upcoming Region 8-AAAAA tournament, meaning it will move directly to the tournament's final four. The top four teams from each region enter the state playoffs.

"I'm really, really pleased," McBay said. "I'm really pleased in my first year with the atmosphere and intensity that we play with; we play hard.

"There's so many people around me who allow me to do my job as far as coaching - parents that take care of the scoreboard and announcing to my unbelievable assistant Kelli Mayo - it's her first year at her as well."

Heritage travels to Loganville on Thursday for the top seed in the region tournament, which will begin Sept. 24.

Leading the way for the Patriots (20-1, 7-0), who won their 15th straight, is their pitching.

Kamryn Toney and Kierra Camp have helped the Patriots keep opponents at bay while their offense fights for runs on the base paths.

Camp pitched against Winder-Barrow, which picked up its second region loss to fall to the third seed, allowing just two hits, with 11 strikeouts and no walks against 22 batters. Camp, a junior, retired the final 15 batters she faced.

"That makes my job easy as well," said McBay, who took over for Dickey Hightower this season. "Kierra was unbelievable tonight."

Leading the way on offense was Diamond Callwood, who was 3 for 3 with a run.

Taylor Moser and Nielah Floyd added a hit each for the Patriots, who scored a run in the third, and another in the fifth.

With the playoffs locked in, McBay has already began making sure his team remains focused for the rest of the regular season, which includes a tournament in Morgan County Friday and Saturday, a home game against Rockdale Sept. 19 and a trip to Social Circle on Sept. 20.

"We really worked this past week on just the mentality," McBay said. "At this point in the year you start to get tired and get satisfied, especially with the success that we have had. I encourage them to watch the way they talk to themselves on the inside if they strikeout or commit an error - how they are talking to themselves."