All three Rockdale County schools were represented in the state playoffs this season after making it through their respective region tournaments in the top four seeds.
Heritage and Rockdale hosted playoff games, with both the Seminoles and Bulldogs earning No. 2 seeds. The Bulldogs used that home-seeding to their advantage beating Region 3-AAAAAA No. 3 seed Douglas County in both games of a doubleheader Wednesday.
Rockdale (18-14) defeated Douglas County 13-1, 10-0 to earn a trip to the second round against Harrison Wednesday.
Salem (11-19) was the only of the three teams not to advance, after earning a road-seed as the No. 3 team out of Region 8-AAAAA.
South Paulding defeated the Seminoles 6-0 and 4-2 to end Salem's season.
Heritage picked up a win after falling in the Region 8-AAAAA tournament championship, making short work of North Paulding. The Patriots defeated the Region 5-AAAA three-seed 8-0 in the first of a three-game series and 13-0 in the clincher. Heritage got started with a five-run first.
Strong defense would held up the Wolfpack 15-9 as the score for the Patriots tallied higher in the following two innings with three combined runs to put the cap on the first game.
The early flash of offense made the job easy for starting pitcher, Kierra Camp, who struck out eight batters in the game.
The first game was not promising for the Wolfpack; however, the chance to tie the doubleheader up and force a third game on Thursday against the Patriots would arise.
The nightcap opened up with a less explosive start on either side, but would not last long. With the lead in Heritage's favor 1-0 going into the second inning, the Patriots would yet again turn up the heat as they swung the bats and hung a seven on the scorecard to match the final score of the previous game. This seven-run inning would be highlighted and eclipsed by a two-run home run by Heritage centerfielder Macarri Wilkerson. Life for the Wolfpack would not get easier as Heritage continued to add to the score with five more runs before letting their defense put the second game away.
The pitching performance by ace starting pitcher Kierra Camp, made another impression as she struck out 18 batters in the two-games series. Heritage coach Jason McBay made it clear that this team was executing well and did all the right things to win this doubleheader.
"This North Paulding team is a good team and they match up well with us," McBay said. "We approached them as they would approach us, with all we had."
Many of the Heritage players had an impact in the two games and when there was a clear-cut favorite in each game, someone else added to the win to share the wealth in productivity.
"If I had to choose any favorites in the either game or both, I would say everyone," McBay said. "From the pinch runners to the pitcher to the hitters in general, everyone did their part and were feeding off of each other."
The Patriots will travel to top-seed Pope of 7-AAAAA for a second-round matchup Wednesday.