While the Patriots didn’t ace the exam, they did well enough to show they can be serious contenders in the North Coast Section. Heritage lost the first game 2-0 to Amador Valley, but defeated Johansen, California and Cosumnes Oaks to round out the tournament.
The loss to the Dons was the first of the year for the Patriots, who hold a 9-1 record.
“Some teams in our bracket were tough teams – ranked teams,” Heritage head coach Ron Rivers said. “I thought that was going to be the best test for us to get us ready for league. We have a lot to improve on.”
The Patriots started out facing defending NCS champion Amador Valley, but the Dons’ pitching was too strong. Heritage managed two hits in the contest and absorbed a tough 2-0 loss.
The Patriots took out their offensive frustrations on the Johansen Vikings. Heritage toppled Johansen 16-2 in a game shortened by the mercy rule. Three Patriots recorded a multi-hit game and junior first baseman Ali Ramirez launched a home run.
Heritage proved it could win close games, taking a 1-0 contest with California in the next round. Senior pitcher Lisa Rodrigues helped her own cause, driving home Ramirez in the sixth inning for the game’s lone run.
The Patriots won comfortably in the tournament’s final contest, a 10-2 win over Cosumnes Oaks. Junior catcher Malia Rivers rapped out four hits and scored all four times she got on base. Ramirez also went 4-for-4 with 4 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Kaylee James batted in three runs.
“We really have that jell right now, where the girls are cheering each other on,” Rivers said. “It’s been a total team effort.”
Heritage competes in this weekend’s Antioch HASA Tournament; then starts Bay Valley Athletic League play on April 17 at Pittsburg.