"They really have to be the favorite," said Stogsdill, Lawrence High's coach. "They return all but one player from last year. They have pitching, hitting and fielding."
Olathe East (19-1) will meet No. 8 seed Emporia (10-12) in a first-round game at 5 p.m. today at Holcom Complex.
Lawrence High played games against half the field in this year's eight-team state tourney and lost them all, mostly via run rules.
The Lions, however, were competitive against No. 7 seed Shawnee Mission West, taking the Vikings 14 innings before bowing.
"Right now, Melissa Stevens is pitching very well for them," Stogsdill said.
Lawrence also bowed to No. 4 seed Olathe South and to sixth-seeded Manhattan. The loss to Manhattan -- a 12-1 licking -- came in last week's regional.
"They hit the ball really well," Stogsdill said. "It didn't matter what we threw at them. Hitting is their strength."
First baseman Koko Tacha is the Indians' most dangerous hitter.
Olathe South (17-5) advanced to state by knocking off defending champion Shawnee Mission Northwest, 2-1.
"We played Olathe South early and I was really impressed," Stogsdill said.
With junior shortstop and leadoff hitter Jessica Moppin in particular.
"She hit two out against us," Stogsdill said. "She's really a good shortstop, too. I think she'll be an NCAA Division One player."
Lawrence High's coach also likes Falcons' pitcher Ashley Shartzer who has thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game this season.
Olathe South will open against No. 5 seed Derby (16-6) at 7 p.m. tonight.
On the other field, second-seeded Maize (20-2) will meet SM West (13-9) at 5 p.m. and No. 3 seed Wichita Northwest (18-4) will play Manhattan (13-9) at 7 p.m.
"I haven't seen the other schools," Stogsdill said, "but of the ones I've seen the two Olathe schools are really impressive. Olathe is a great place for softball. They start playing competitively at an early age. It's a big thing there."
-- Sports editor Chuck Woodling can be reached at 832-7147.