November 6, 2021
By Fred Liggett
Whether rolling through opponents in the Show-Me State or having some famous “Throwed Rolls” at Lambert’s Café, the Lee’s Summit West Titans Softball team have proven to be the best in Missouri this season. The Titans secured the Missouri State Class 5 title with a pair of wins in Springfield on Friday, Oct. 29. On the way to reaching the team’s goal of a state championship, team members had to overcome some adversity during the post-season.
The Titans began the post-season swinging for a Class 5, District 7 title where rival Lee’s Summit North served as host. LS West first round game with Belton was moved to Legacy Park but the Titans managed a win with a 3-0 shutout over Belton. The Titans semi-final round game with Truman was moved to the new East Trails Middle School where they shutout Truman in a 1-0 victory. LS West then scored another 1-0 win in the district title game against LS North. After a one-run win over Liberty North in a quarterfinal game it was time for a trip to the Final Four being played this fall in Springfield, Mo.
The two-day state championship tournament was scheduled to be played on Oct. 28-29. But wet weather postponed the semi-final round games to Friday. The Titans would have to win two games to win a state title on October 29. Titans Head Coach Eric Doane said, “The team went down Wednesday night, took team photos for MSHSAA and got work done on Thursday.” The team ended up going to the famous Lambert’s home of Throwed Rolls. Doane stated he, “wanted to keep things normal for the kids.”
Coach Doane said his Titans “felt pretty good” about their chances as they opened play on Friday morning against Parkway South. The game “worked in our favor” Coach Doane felt as it allowed the team to rest their starting pitcher after only throwing 36 pitches. The Titans roared out to a large lead en route to a 19-1 win and advancing to the state final game against Francis Howell. The Title game began with temps below 50 degrees & windy conditions but Coach Doane says the “kids just dealt with it.” Following a come-from-behind 6-5 win on this Friday afternoon in the Ozarks the LS West Titans had a softball state championship.
The team returned to the LS West campus later that same night at around 10:45 p.m. The welcome back party was organized by team parents. About the 2021 Titans Coach Doane admits he is “thrilled to death for them” and “happy the team can see that hard work pays off.” If winning a state title hadn’t sunk in yet for the team the events on Tuesday, Nov. 2 sure did. A Josten’s representative came to campus to meet with them about state championship rings. Then not one, but two Kansas City TV stations came to campus to hand out the Hy-Vee Team of the Week and Hy-Vee Player of the Week honors. Coach Doane says it was “a really fun and exciting day for them.” For many Titans fans, parents and alumni watching the team overcome obstacles on the way to a 2021 state title this fall was also fun and exciting.