The pitching is in place for Lawrence High's softball team.
Now, LHS head coach Reenie Stogsdill just hopes she can devise a defense that complements her two top pitchers -- seniors Shannon Stanwix and Kristy Asher -- who split time last year.
"We're looking pretty good in the pitching department," said Stogsdill, who'll make her LHS head coaching debut today with a 4:15 p.m. doubleheader at Leavenworth. "If they put some good defense behind them, we'll be looking strong."
Stanwix, a Kansas University softball signee, went 5-7 last year as the team's top pitcher. When she's not pitching, Stanwix plays first base.
"Shannon will be a big key for us this year," Stogsdill said. "She's pitching really well right now and hitting the ball. She's a great softball player."
Stanwix and Asher are among five returning starters from last year's 9-13 team that was eliminated in a regional final.
Second baseman Stephanie Welter, center fielder Risa Petty and shortstop Marcelle Fox are the other returning starters.
"The kids are working really hard," Stogsdill said. "They worked hard in the offseason. I think we're a little bit ahead in our hitting as opposed to other years."
Stogsdill, Lawrence's junior varsity coach the two previous years, replaced Sandra Walker shortly after the 1995 season.
"It'll be nice to get started and see where we're at," Stogsdill said.
A couple of positions -- catcher and third base -- were up for grabs heading into the opener. Junior Brianna Bingham and sophomore Jenny Maykulsky are battling for the catcher's position. Sophomore Julie Gasper and senior Sara Garvin are challenging for third base.
Following this afternoon's games with the Pioneers, Lawrence's next doubleheader is on April 2 at home against Shawnee Mission East. The Lions have the long layoff because of spring break next week.