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Patriots softball shut out Eagles
Heritage pitcher Kamryn Toney earned a 4-0 decision over the Eastside Eagles on Wednesday. - photo by Matt Smith

The Heritage Patriots varsity softball team earned a 4-0 victory over Eastside Wednesday night at home, recording eight hits in the shutout win.

Heritage pitcher Kamryn Toney carried a no-hit bid into the fifth inning before the Eagles' Haley Yates secured Eastside's lone hit in the loss.

Despite coming off the program's first two losses of the season to Alcovy and Dacula, Heritage coach Jason McBay said that he was excited to see his team's defensive intensity return to the diamond.

"It was a big improvement over our last two games," McBay said. "We came into the game after two losses so the biggest thing was to just get a win tonight. That was huge for us. We work hard on our defense, but lately we haven't been playing really good defense. Defense has always been something we hang our hats on, so it was good to get back to that point today."

Heritage's offense got rolling early in the contest, as Diamond Callwood reached first on a bunt before stealing second, giving the Patriots a runner in scoring position. Callwood reached home just a few pitches later while trying to steal third, as the Eagles' throw down sailed past the third base line and into the outfield, allowing Callwood to touch home for a 1-0 Heritage lead.

The Eagles kept the Patriots off the scoreboard until the fourth inning when another Eastside throwing error cost the Eagles a run.

Carri Wilkerson touched home after reaching on a single, crossing the plate after the Eagles tried to get Toney out at second on Heritage's second base knock of the inning. Toney reached second safely after the Eagles' throw missed its mark, allowing Wilkerson to give the Patriots a 2-0 advantage.

Eastside threatened the Patriots' lead in the top of the fifth inning, as Yates broke up Toney's no-hit bid with a one-out single.

Yates reached second after Toney walked Eastside second baseman Madison Whitsitt, but the Eagles were unable to get a run across the plate with two outs.

Heritage added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring Wilkerson from third on another Eastside throwing error before scoring Taylor Moser on a Heidi Shepherd squeeze bunt.

Cati Ray took the loss on the mound for the Eagles, allowing eight hits and a walk while striking out six Patriots.

Toney finished with one hit, five strikeouts and one walk in the win.

Yates finished 1-for-3 at the plate to lead the Eagles.

Shepherd paced the Patriots at the dish with a 2-for-2 performance with a pair of singles, while Wilkerson went 2-for-3 at the plate.

Heritage returns to action on Saturday on the road against Walnut Grove.