Junior shortstop Payton Lincavage was never skeptical about Legend's chances of winning the state softball championship.
“We had been saying it all season: This is the year of the Titans," she said. "I had no doubts.”
Legend captured the …
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Legend captured the school's first state title in any sport with an 9-3 victory over Fossil Ridge in the Class 5A title game on Oct. 21 at Aurora Sports Park.
Still, it was a surprise to many especially after the Titans started the season with a 2-5 record and then lost to Fort Collins in the first regional qualifying tournament.
Legend, which tied for first place in the Continental League, did gain the second qualifying spot from Region 2, went into the state tournament as the No. 10 seed and won four games to bring the state championship to Parker.
“In the beginning of the year, there were a lot of people doubting us,” said junior pitcher Zoey LeCompte, who was the winning pitcher in all four state tournament games. “No one thought we would be this good."
Coach Kristen Shirk likes to use the term "uglies" for those wins that sometimes aren't pretty.
“The state championship is awesome,” Shirk said. “We had some uglies but this weekend we were good. Everything came together.”
Two of the Titans' early season losses were 8-7 to Arvada West on Aug. 31 and 8-6 to Legacy on Sept. 1, but Legend got revenge when it counted.
Legend, which ended the season with an 18-8 record, toppled Cherry Creek, 16-3 and advanced to the semifinals with a 3-2 victory over second-seeded Arvada West in games played Oct. 20.
The Titans took a 10-1 lead into the seventh inning and notched a 10-6 win over the Lightning to move into the title game and again grabbed an early seven-run lead over the fourth-seeded Sabercats, who upset top-seeded Eaglecrest, 20-16, in the semis.
LeCompte and freshman reliever Bella Mumford held Fossil Ridge to six hits in the title game and the Titans' bats stayed warm on a chilly, windy afternoon.
Senior Alysaa Nunn delivered a two-run triple in a six-run fifth inning for the Titans.
In four state tournament games, senior third baseman Hailey Swanson went 7-for-11 with nine runs batted in and two home runs. Lincavage also smacked two homers and was 8-for-15 with six RBIs.
“I'm still surprised,” said Swanson, “but we all came together so well. There was no doubt we could do it. There was so much talent on this team.”
Legend didn't provide the lone state tournament surprise.
Unbeaten, top-seeded and three-time defending Class 4A champion Valor Christian ousted Ponderosa, 7-0, in a first round game but was eliminated in a 5-1 setback to Silver Creek in the second round. The Eagles finished with a 22-1 record.
In other 5A games, three south Metro teams lost in the first round. Legacy downed ThunderRidge, 10-4; Arvada West ousted Mountain Vista, 5-3; and Douglas County gave up two runs in the bottom of the seventh in a 2-1 setback to Columbine.
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