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Heritage wins pitcher's duel
Joy Vaison makes a catch at first base for Heritage on Tuesday. - photo by Bryan Fazio

Two sophomores put on an excellent pitching display Tuesday as Salem hosted Heritage in a cross-town softball matchup.

Rylee Rogers of Salem and Kierra Camp of the Patriots dueled in the pitching circle, allowing a combined eight hits with Heritage coming out on top 3-0.

“They’re two of the pretty dog gone top pitchers in the region,” Heritage coach Dickey Hightower said.

Camp gave up just two hits and no runs with three strikeouts to come away with the win, but Rogers was equally as impressive keeping most of Heritage’s bats at bay, allowing six hits while striking out four.

“They battled back and forth,” Salem coach Maurice Gibson said.

 In a game with such a little amount of hits, and for that matter such a little amount of time to compile those hits – the game lasted just one hour, 19 minutes; the team to get on the board first improved its chances of victory tremendously. Tuesday, that team was the Patriots.

“I thought Rylee threw very well but you give Kierra two or three runs and she bears down and throws a little harder the further you get along,” Hightower said.

Fresh off a 20-run performance against Parkview on Saturday, Heritage (16-4, 7-1 Region 8-AAAA) started off Tuesday’s contest with a walk by Diamond Callwood. Two batters later, Simone Davenport stepped up and delivered an RBI double to the outfield, scoring Callwood. Rogers got Camp to ground out to the third baseman, before Taylor Moser drove in Davenport with a single.

 Other than Callwood’s walk and a single by Nielah Floyd in the top of the seventh inning, only the No’s three, four and five hitters for the Patriots reached base for the Patriots. With the rest of the lineup struggling, Davenport stepped up with two hits and two runs and, Moser added two hits and Camp had an RBI double, proving clutch in key situations for the Patriots.

“Simone had a great ball game,” Hightower said. “Simone played great defense and her two hits sort of sparked us a little bit.”

The Salem Seminoles (7-6, 3-4) however, couldn’t come up with clutch hits of their own.

“The big difference tonight for us was not getting that clutch hit,” Gibson said. “We had opportunities with the bases loaded and runners in scoring position and couldn’t get it.”

Camp kept the Salem Seminoles off the base paths throughout, and was throwing a perfect game through four innings. In the fifth, Rogers started out with a leadoff single. Patricia Clark then followed with another hit. Both runners advanced on a double steal, but couldn’t progress any further than Rogers on third. Peyton Canty hit a fly to left field, Kayla Yorkman struck out and Lane Powell flied out ot left field to end the inning.

 Salem had another chance in the sixth, as Whitney Lester reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on an error by the Patriots’ shortstop. However, Salem again couldn’t bring any one home as Heritage third baseman, Davenport, had a part in all three outs. Camp then completed the game with a one-two-three seventh inning, concluding with a strikeout of Kayla Yorkman.

“(Camp) a great job,” Gibson said. “My girls hit her but she had good defense behind her and she threw strikes.”