Cary News: Sports

Green Hope softball stuns Apex with late rally

With a riveting five-run sixth inning, Green Hope pulled off a stunning 9-8 win over Apex in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference softball game Thursday afternoon for one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

Ali Then capped the rally with a run-scoring single, helping the Falcons improve to 9-1 overall, 4-1 in the SWAC. Shae Condon, Kamron Phillips and Shelby Scott preceded Then’s heroics with run-scoring hits of their own as Green Hope recorded its second straight win over Apex dating back to last season.

Green Hope coach Morgan Caddell could barely contain her excitement over the home field conquest of the Cougars (7-1, 4-1) and her pride in the Falcons’ achievement.

“I’m so proud of our team. We never once gave up,” Caddell said. “When we got down, we battled and were so mentally strong.”

Green Hope had several chances to display its toughness, as Apex scored a pair of runs in the first inning on Kaitlyn Long’s two-run double. The Cougars extended their lead to 6-0 in the third sparked by Alexis Overdiep’s two-run triple.

Emily Wynne rapped a two-run single in the bottom of the frame, and Maddison Clifford added a RBI single in the fourth to help Green Hope cut the lead to 6-4.

Apex appeared to get ahead comfortably at 8-4 in the fifth as Jordan Smith contributed a key infield hit, swiped a base and later scored on an error.

That only served to set the stage for the Falcons’ remarkable comeback, which left the Cougars stunned heading into spring break.

Apex coach Bonnie Hodge, whose daughter Lindsay took the loss on the hill, was disappointed in her team’s effort in a game the Cougars seemed to have command of throughout.

Apex was undefeated entering the game. Now it is part of a four-way tie for first in the loss column with Middle Creek, Fuquay-Varina and the Falcons.

“We didn’t come to play,” Hodge said. “Green Hope did its job and we didn’t.”

Condon, who got on base three times and has 15 hits in 29 at-bats on the season, said remaining cool under pressure helped her and her teammates notch the impressive win. She expects the performance will also help the Falcons succeed going forward.

“It was intense out there, but I just wanted to stay calm and hit the ball,” said Condon, normally a slap-hitter who changed her style to a more typical batting stance for the game. “I now know I have the ability to do it.”

That could be said for the entire Green Hope softball team, as well.