Lee County Heroes split doubleheader

Jun. 6—One of the summer softball teams in the area opened its season Tuesday evening with a doubleheader split on the road in Apex.

The Lee County Heroes, a team that includes members of the Grace Christian and Lee County softball teams from this past season, started their season with a 9-3 loss to the South Wake USA Heroes 16u at Middle Creek High School, but then bounced back in the nightcap for a 7-6 victory.

The Lee County Heroes will have their home opener this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Grace Christian softball park, located at 305 Legion Drive. The team will take on the Southern Alamance USA Heroes.

The second game of the doubleheader lasted just three innings. Lee County trailed 6-5 going to the top of the third inning, but scored two runs in that frame and then set South Wake down 1-2-3 in the bottom half behind pitcher Kinsley Pugh (Grace). Hayley Pugh, also of the Lady Crusaders, pitched the first two innings and allowed just one earned run.

The winning rally in the top half of the inning began with a walk to Victoria Thomas (Grace), followed by an RBI single from Ashanti Frazier after Thomas had stolen second base. With one out and Frazier at third, Kinsley Pugh hit a sacrifice fly to give Lee County a one-run lead.

Lee ended the game with seven hits, including a 2-for-2 outing from Hayley Pugh. Thomas was also perfect at the plate, walking twice.

The team could have won the first game, save for four errors to none committed by South Wake, and a mistake-filled bottom of the third in which the hosts scored eight runs.

Lee was never sharp in this contest, loading the bases with one out in the first inning but failing to capitalize. They took a 2-0 lead in the second, after Harleigh Carlyle led off with a single and Addison Gardner (Grace) walked. Maryn Davis (Grace) singled to drive in Carlyle, and a few batters later, Olivia Hochevar (Grace) singled to right to make it 2-0.

Two of the first four South Wake batters in the third made outs but reached anyway, thanks to a passed-ball strikeout and an error. Later in the inning, Lee failed to record an out on a fielder's choice play, and by the time the inning was over, South Wake had scored eight times and only three of them were earned runs.

Kinsley Pugh drove in Gardner to get one of the runs back in the fourth, but that was the last score for Lee County in the first game.

Hochevar went 2-for-2 and Gardner walked in both her plate appearances in this game. Allie Bauer (Union Pines) started the game and Thomas finished it, each pitching two innings.

Two other players from the area playing for the Lee County Heroes are Avery Jessup (Union Pines) and Cherish Smith (Lee Senior). The Heroes currently have 13 games scheduled between now and mid-July.