The team batting average of the Apex Cougars’ softball team dropped 34 points last week after a 4-for-28 showing against Southwest Wake Athletic Conference rival Green Hope.
Three of those four hits, however, came in the last three innings, which saw the Cougars reverse a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2, 8-inning triumph. Which goes to show an emphasis on hitting matters. Even if the hits don’t come until late.
“That’s always been our big focus – hitting,” Apex head coach Dana Higgins said. “We try to be a very offensive team and keep the defense on their toes. We’ve got great hitters returning from last year, and they’re picking up where they left off and continue to do their jobs well.”
Leading the hit parade for Apex (10-1, 7-1), which is still hitting a robust .366 as a team, is senior Olivia Oates. The pitcher is batting .438 (14 of 32) with 13 RBIs, three doubles and a triple. She’s also 7-0 in the circle.
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Lead-off batter C.J. Wright is batting .486 (17 of 35) with one double, two triples, a grand slam and 10 RBIs. Shelby Poliachik is batting .465 (20 of 43) with 11 RBIs, while senior Samantha Pesot is hitting .355 with 15 RBIs, four doubles and four triples.
“We are just going out there and having fun,” Poliachik said. “We know that it helps that we all trust our teammates. It’s hard to hit if you’re up there thinking I have to do this for everybody. But if everyone is hitting and on fire you can just have fun at the plate. You don’t have to worry about messing up because you know your teammates have your back.”
And even though they were out-hit 10-4 by Green Hope, confidence never wavered. Even for Pesot, who struck out twice in her first two at-bats after striking out just three times her entire prep career (130 plate appearances) coming in. Pesot drove in the game-winner on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth.
“We all went up and believed in ourselves,” Pesot said. “We’re all getting hyped up in the dugout and just letting it happen.”