MILL CREEK - The Tygarts Valley High School softball team will field a young team for first-year coach Hannah Sunburg.
Sunburg served as an assistant coach under Tim Collins last season.
The Lady Bulldogs, who lost to Pendleton County in the sectional tournament last year, returns only two seniors from last year in Shaunna Taylor and Alexis Vandevender.
Taylor will be the team's top pitcher, while Vandevender will be at second base.
"We're going to need these two girls to really step and be leaders for us this year," Sunburg said. "Shaunna got hurt in the offseason with a knee injury, so she is rehabilitating her knee. Hopefully we can get her back during the beginning part of the season."
Junior shortstop Charity Lower returns with experience and also will see time on the mound.
"Lower will be on the mound pitching until we can get Shaunna back from her injury," Sunburg said.
Junior catcher Danielle Johnson also returns with experience, while junior infielder Paige Pritt is back out for the team after not playing last season.
"I think we have a good group of seniors and juniors this year," Sunburg said. "There going to have to lead us this year on the field and batting."
Sophomore infielder Makayla Harris and freshman Morgan Stout also will be battling for time this year at the varsity level.
"Preseason practices have went well so far," Sunburg said. "It's going to take some time adjusting to everything.
"I've got a good assistant coach Jeff Pritt, who has been a big help."
Tygarts Valley's Potomac Valley Conference schedule once again will be a challenge against the likes of Moorefield, Pendleton County, Tucker County and East Hardy.
The Lady Bulldogs' non-conference schedule includes Elkins, Philip Barbour, Webster County, Gilmer County, Richwood and South Harrison.
Tygarts Valley will open the season Monday in a doubleheader at Elkins.