Talk about the luck of the draw.
Free State High will have to face two-time defending champion Olathe East in the first round of next week's Class 6A state softball tournament in Wichita.
Even though the Firebirds (17-5) are enjoying the best season in the school's nine-year history, based on their record they had to settle for the No. 7 seed in the eight-team tournament at Two Rivers Complex.
Washburn Rural (22-0) and Olathe East (20-1) are the top two seeds.
Curiously, Olathe East has lost only two games over the last two years and both were to Free State in the second game of regular-season doubleheaders.
About a month ago, the Hawks blanked Free State, 10-0, in the first game of a twinbill, but the Firebirds bounced back for a 10-6 victory in the nightcap as Rosie Hull and Brooke Abney drove in three runs apiece, and Hannah Somers had two RBI.
Free State and Olathe East will collide at 5 p.m. Friday at the same complex where the Firebirds qualified for state last Tuesday with back-to-back victories over Lawrence High and Wichita Heights.
Free State's baseball team will also be headed to the Air Capital for 6A state competition next week.
The Firebirds (19-3) are the No. 4 seed and will battle No. 5 Dodge City (16-6) at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, home of the Wichita Wranglers, Class AA farm team of the Kansas City Royals.
Seeded ahead of Free State are Goodard (20-1), Maize (19-2) and Manhattan (19-3).
Meanwhile, four area schools have also qualified for state meets next weekend.
In Class 4A, Eudora (22-1) is the No. 1 baseball seed and will meet No. 8 Wellington (11-10) at 11 a.m. Friday at Evans Stadium in Salina. Tonganoxie (20-3) is the No. 3 softball seed. The Chieftains will meet No. 6 Augusta (16-5) at 7 p.m. Friday at Burke Complex, also in Salina.
The Class 3A softball bracket includes No. 6 seed McLouth (15-4), which will meet No. 3 White City (20-1) at 7 p.m Friday at Twin Oaks Complex in Manhattan. Wellsville (9-13) is the No. 8 seed and will play top-seeded Salina Sacred Heart (21-0) at 5 p.m. at the same location