New­ton sti­fled

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

A sea­son of dif­fi­cul­ties reached its peak Wed­nes­day night as New­ton’s big­gest achieve­ment was a player get­ting hit by a pitch.

The Rams’ soft­ball team was shutout 9-0 by Her­itage with Pa­tri­ots pitcher Kierra Camp hav­ing her bid for a per­fect game spoiled in the fifth and fi­nal in­ning when she hit Cait­lyn Bowen with an inside pitch.

Her­itage's ace pitcher cap­i­tal­ized the K in her first name with a no-hit, 13-strike­out per­for­mance.

Camp blew through the Rams' lineup strik­ing out 12 of the first 13 bat­ters she faced. The ju­nior was cruis­ing along as Her­itage ap­proached a run-ruled

short­ened game, be­fore putting a run­ner on base.

Af­ter Marie Diaz grounded out to short for just the sec­ond ball to get in play, Camp struck out Deanna Jack­son. With pinch-hit­ter Cait­lyn Bowen up to the plate, Camp threw a lit­tle too far inside and hit the fresh­man to put the only Rams' run­ner on base all game.

Camp then got Ash­ton McKin­son to ground out to sec­ond base for the fi­nal out.

"Kierra is Kierra, any time she's in the circle you have a chance to win, it doesn't mat­ter who it is," Her­itage coach Ja­son McBay said. "She was in the zone to­day. I know she wanted that per­fect game badly, at least she got the no-hit­ter."

It was the fifth straight loss for New­ton in as many games and the sec­ond straight which didn’t reach its full seven in­nings. The Rams also fell to Grif­fin 10-1 in five in­nings Satur­day.

New­ton coach Vir­ginia Wa­ters came into this sea­son know­ing she would have to play a lot of younger girls but also thought that her older play­ers would lead the way.

She has four of her five fresh­men start­ing this year from the list that in­cludes Ciera Bryant, Ash­ton McKin­non, Shelby Lan­dron, Shan­non Walker and Bowen.

“I knew with the girls we still had, I knew the younger ones they know the game well, I knew they could step up and fill some spots re­plac­ing some peo­ple that have grad­u­ated,” Wa­ters said. “They’ve done that al­right. But with new girls, it’s like they hadn’t gelled with older girls.”

New­ton won’t have a lot of time to gel thanks to an ag­gres­sive sched­ule made by Wa­ters fol­low­ing a 13-9 sea­son in 2011.

“Last sea­son as I was mov­ing for­ward with this year, I sched­uled lots of games - two or three dur­ing the week – and felt that we were good enough to play back-to-back-to-back games,” Wa­ters said. “Now we have to play through all these games I sched­uled.”

The Rams have strug­gled through the sched­ule at this point, play­ing just two times a week with the ex­cep­tion of tour­na­ments.

The most runs New­ton has been able to score in one game is four in a 5-4 loss to Craw­ford County on Satur­day. Other than that it has been held to two by Fatetty County and one each by Jack­son and Grif­fin.

Wed­nes­day marked the worst offensive per­for­mance thanks to Camp, who struck out ev­ery bat­ter she faced each time, with the ex­cep­tion of Brown, Diaz and Bre Weaver, who grounded out to the pitcher in the first in­ning.

"She def­i­nitely had the most move­ment and change of speed that we've run across this sea­son," Wa­ters said. "She's a re­ally, re­ally strong pitcher."

While Camp was deal­ing, Her­itage was run­ning the bases.

The Pa­tri­ots started by scor­ing on their first three bat­ters of the game. Nielah Floyd reached with a lead­off sin­gle, be­fore steal­ing sec­ond and mov­ing to third on a passed ball. She scored on an RBI er­ror to short­stop by Di­a­mond Call­wood.

Call­wood stole sec­ond and then was sent to third on a dou­ble steal along with Kam­ryn Toney. As New­ton was try­ing to throw out Tonye, Call­wood ran to third, and then stole home. Toney scored on a sac­ri­fice by Tay­lor Moser.

The Pa­tri­ots stole eight more bases, in­clud­ing one by Cierra Daven­port, who opened the bot­tom of the sec­ond on a sin­gle. Daven­port scored on Call­wood's two-out RBI sin­gle to cen­ter field. Call­wood came home on Camp's dou­ble.

Moser reached first to lead off the third in­ning, be­fore steal­ing seond and third and then com­ing home as Carri Wilk­er­son at­tempted to steal sec­ond.

"Right now from Kierra all the way to our man­ager, ev­ery­one has kind of em­braced their roll," McBay said. "When it works like that ev­ery­one can ac­com­plish more."

Bryan Fazio /The Cov­ing­ton News

La­tise Al­bert throws a pitch dur­ing New­ton's 9-0 loss to Her­itage on Wed­nes­day night.

Bryan Fazio /The Cov­ing­ton News

Ciera Bryant catches a fly ball dur­ing New­ton's road game against Her­itage Satur­day.

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