Olathe Of all the Class 6A high school softball teams in Kansas, only one has a spotless record.
That team — Olathe Northwest (20-0) — stands between both Free State and Lawrence, and a berth in the 6A state tournament. O-Northwest will play host to a four-team 6A regional today at College Boulevard Activities Center.
In the first game at 3 p.m., No. 5 seed Free State (8-12) will meet No. 4 Topeka High (11-9). Then No. 8 Lawrence (1-19) will battle the top-seeded Ravens at 4:45 p.m.
Each winner will clash at 6:30 p.m. with a berth in the 6A state tournament May 29-30 at Shawnee Mission Sports Complex at stake.
Lawrence and Free State played two games apiece against O-Northwest during the regular season with virtually identical results. The Ravens toppled the Lions, 6-0 and 10-0, and disposed of the Firebirds by 9-0 and 6-0 scores.
Lawrence has dropped 10 in a row since blanking SM South, 8-0, for its lone victory.
Free State, meanwhile, has dropped five of its last six outings, all against Sunflower League teams. The Firebirds, in fact, will be meeting a nonleague foe for the first time today when they tangle with Topeka High.
Coincidentally, Free State met the Trojans in a first-round game last year, also at CBAC. The Firebirds won, 9-2, then bowed to O-Northwest, 6-0, in the state qualifier.