Lee’s Summit West softball coach Eric Doane has never been one to pour over stats. But after watching the torrent of hits that came off the Titans’ bats in Saturday’s Missouri Class 4 state quarterfinal against Liberty North, he couldn’t help himself.
Not after Lee’s Summit West cranked out 19 hits and earned its first trip to the final four with a 15-1 five-inning pounding of the Eagles at Liberty North. Doane has seen plenty of games where the Titans have tattooed the ball this season — the team has a .383 batting average after all — but rarely with the frequency they displayed in the first quarterfinal game in the program’s history.
“I expected our kids to do what we’ve been doing, and that’s hitting the ball and putting the ball in play,” Doane said. “And the stars aligned for us today.”
Lee’s Summit West, 24-7, scored at least once in every inning. After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, the Titans set the tone in the second with four runs on four hits in the second punctuated by a two-run double from Daphne Plummer and a two-run single from Maddie Harris. Plummer and Harris were two of three Titans with at least three hits.
The Titans added three runs on three hits in the third inning, three more on three hits in the fourth and run-ruled the Eagles when Sydney Gardner hit a three-run homer as part of a four-run fifth.
“It’s really nice having a lineup where everybody can it the ball,” Gardner said. “You can always expect someone to do something all the through the lineup.”
That was more than enough offense to back LS West starter Jordan Weber, who held Liberty North to one run on four hits. Weber worked out of a one-out, two-on jam in the first inning and got out of the second unscathed after Gardner fielded a bunt and tagged out a runner coming in from third.
Liberty North, 22-9, never threatened again until Ava Curry singled home the Eagles’ lone run in the fifth. But there was little they could do against a team that dominated both at the plate and in the circle.
“You hit the ball with authority and you pitch well … it’s a combination good teams have,” Doane said.