Camp named first-team all-state

CONYERS -- The statewide recognition continues for the recent crop of Heritage softball players. Junior Kierra Camp was recently named a first-team all-state member in Class AAAAA, completing a phenomenal season for the pitcher/third baseman. This follows standout Callie Alford --now a sophomore at Georgia State -- being named a first-team all-state member in 2009 and 2010.

Camp, 18-3, allowing only seven earned runs in 125 innings pitched (0.39 ERA) while striking out 178 in 21 games, was named the Region 8-AAAAA pitcher of the year and led the team to a 30-win season, a runner-up region finish and the second round of the state playoffs where the Patriots lost in two games to eventual state runner-up Pope.

"She never gets too excited or too down on herself. On the field, she is a competitor," Heritage coach Jason McBay said. "I know from experience when you pitch in big games you learn to be comfortable and do your best work in the midst of the fire. I saw that out of Kierra this year more than in years past. In tough situations, she was able to stay mentally calm, which helped her elevate her game. She is a different person once she steps between the lines."

Camp, who recently made a verbal commitment to Georgia Southern University, was no slouch at the plate, either. She hit .333 (34 of 102) with a .386 on-base percentage and drove in 29 runs for a Heritage team that averaged 6.5 runs per game. Once her pitches have been made, Camp has also become a dependable defensive pitcher.

"Her reflexes on the mound have gotten better as far as fielding bunts, having a quick release and getting out of the circle when it is necessary," McBay said. She fields her position much better than she did her first two years in the program."

With the all-state honor locked up, Camp and five other seniors will return in 2013 maintaining a goal of a Class AAAAA state championship.

"Kierra would be the first to trade her first team all-state honor for a state championship ring," said McBay. "Hopefully, she and these other players get their shot."