The late surge of college commitments for McDowell High School athletes continues as recent graduate Lucy Hames recently inked with Division II Young Harris College to play softball in 2022.
Hames is the second member of the softball program to have signed from this past school year. Avery Jordan committed to North Carolina Wesleyan back in December of last year. The decision for Hames to choose the perennially strong Division II program came after her senior campaign ended at McDowell.
“It all came together pretty quickly as the coach at Young Harris began to show some interest in me after the high school season ended,” Hames said. “I really didn’t have many other offers on the table, so I looked into this one. Playing softball in college has been a dream of mine for a long time and this opportunity came up at just the right time.”
Hames had been considering Montreat prior to the inquiry from the Georgia school, but ultimately chose Young Harris. Hames will be majoring in business and marketing with future hopes of opening a business through social media.
As a four-year varsity player, Hames was a presence both on the mound and at the plate. As a senior, she was named to the All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference team after going 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings of work. Opponents hit just .215 against her.
Hames was outstanding at the plate as well, hitting .419 with a team-high six doubles and tying for the team lead in RBIs with 12. She was second on the roster with 18 hits and a 1.096 OPS, and swatted one home run.
She finished with a .365 career batting average, making 67 plate appearances. In 24 career appearances on the mound, she tallied a 1.62 earned run average, striking out 69 batters in 86 2/3 innings.
Hames will likely provide infield and pitching depth for the Mountain Lions fast-pitch program in 2022. This past spring, Young Harris finished with a No. 3 Regional ranking and among the top 20 nationally in Division II, going 34-12 overall and reaching the NCAA Division II tournament before losing to fellow Peach Belt Conference season and tournament champion North Georgia in the Southeast Regional.