Category 2: Without a baccalaureate degree PMP candidates must:
1. Document at least five calendar years experience in project management (within the past eight years), including at least 7,500 hours experience within the five recognized project management process groups.

Could this include working as a Team Lead / Software lead where I was directing team members and executing project tasks while working under a project manager?

You do not need the title "Project Manager" if that is what you are asking. There are several different titles for similar work depending on where you work. As long as you have documented work leading projects you should be fine.