PETERSBURG -The Petersburg High School softball team hopes to have a strong season as they return an experienced group for head coach Dwayne Hedrick.
The Lady Vikings will open the season on Saturday as they host Washington for a non-conference doubleheader.
Leading the list of returnees for Petersburg is outfielder Kaitlyn Keplinger, who was a Class AA all-state first-team selection last year as a freshman.
Keplinger batted .462 with 25 RBIs.
Petersburg also returns another top hitter from last year in junior utility player Brittani Bible, who was a special honorable mention selection
"Were expecting big things from those two players," Hedrick said. "We're hoping both of them can have big years again for us."
Junior pitcher Marly Thompson also returns with playing experience for the Lady Vikings.
Junior Tori Weasonforth, who would have been a returning starter, tore her ACL in the sectional basketball game against Berkeley Springs.
"It's tough to lose her," Hedrick said. "She was a big part of our offense and she will be greatly missed."
The Lady Vikings will look to replace one of the top offensive threats from last year in Melissa Sharp.
"It's tough losing Sharp, she was a good player, "Hedrick said. "But we've got a good group of girls this year with a lot of experience.
"We've got high expectations this year, and hopefully we can get back to the postseason and make a run."