Tucker County softball coach Dee Stevens thinks that a change in attitude will lead to more victories for this season's team.
"I've seen a lot of changes from last year," Stevens said. "The girls are more excited to play and they're much more confident that they can win some games this season."
Stevens also thinks she is more adjusted to the high school game, after coaching her first season at the varsity level last year.
Tucker County will return several key players this season including Bekhah Simmons, left, and Shannon Whitehair.
"Obviously, the competition was better from when I was coaching at the middle school level," she said. "The good thing is that a lot of the girls that I coached in middle school are now playing for me at the high school level."
The Lady Mountain Lions, who won just four games last season, will return seven players with varsity experience.
Mariah Boley, Bekhah Simmons, Sharee Thomas and Shannon Whitehair are returning starters for Tucker County.
Boley will play center field for the Lady Mountain Lions where she led the team in stolen bases last season.
"Mariah has a lot of speed and is really quick," Stevens said. "She is very aggressive on the bases."
Thomas and Whitehair will play at catcher and in the infield this season. Whitehair batted .275 last season. Both players will be counted to the lead the charge at the plate this season, according to Stevens.
"Sharee and Shannon are going to be key players for us," she said. "I really think Shannon will step up and have a great season.
"Sharee has a great arm and I think she'll do a great job both in the field and at the plate."
Simmons hit at a .250 clip last season and will pitch and play at third base for Tucker County this season.
"Becca didn't have an opportunity to pitch a lot of innings last season, but she's going to get her chance this year," Stevens said. "I really think she's going to step up and pitch well for us this season."
Caroline Adams, Reba Bates and Jessica McCrum also return with varsity experience for the Lady Mountain Lions.
Tucker County's roster will have all sophomores, except for Thomas and McCrum, who are juniors.
"We're pretty young, but we have a lot of players that have played," Stevens said. "I really think that we have 10 solid players that can go out and get the job done for us."
The Lady Mountain Lions will open the 2012 season with three straight road games beginning on March 23 at Tygarts Valley for a Potomac Valley Conference contest.