After an exciting season last year the SOC II and Portsmouth are back to take the diamonds once again.
Wheelersburg won the SOC II ahead of Portsmouth West last season but lost to a team that went on to win state. West brings back a core of seniors and Waverly is trying to fill holes caused by graduation.
In the SEOAL, Portsmouth returns several players as well.
Here is a look at the softball teams of the SOC II and Portsmouth.
The Wheelersburg Lady Pirates finished 23-4 last season to win the SOC II and fell to eventual state champions Bloom-Carroll in the regional semifinals.
Wheelersburg lost three starters to graduation, opening up holes at first base, shortstop, and in left field.
"We lost a lot of experience (to graduation)," said Pirates' coach Gary Bailey.
The Pirates do have three returning seniors this season in Jessica Blanton at catcher, Brooke Baker at pitcher and Kelly Schaffin, who will be big on the basepaths.
"The three seniors that we have are great leaders and lead by example," said Bailey.
Others returning include a junior class who Bailey is very high on and think will be a key to the Lady Pirates success this season.
Lainee Clay, Jamie Clevenger, Chelsea Schaffin, and Dani Hall are all juniors.
"Our juniors will be a big part of us winning," said Bailey.
"They will give us depth and experience and with a good freshmen class if we can play together as a team and keep the chemistry we have now it will help us in the long run."
The Waverly Lady Tigers look to reload after losing a pair of infielders and a pair of outfielders to graduation.
Becca Lacy, Brie Shilling, Jacklynn Price and Samantha Mays are four starters the Lady Tigers will have to fill-in for this season. Waverly finished 15-7 last year falling to state Final Four competitor Circleville in an epic, nine-inning struggle in the district round of the tournament.
The Lady Tigers do bring back talent from last year's squad. Senior Chelsi Osborne will play shortstop and fellow senior Mackenzie Gullion will handle the duties behind the plate. Sophomore pitcher Caitlin Shilling returns and will assume pitching duties for the Lady Tigers. The Tigers also have a wealth of underclass talent looking fill in the open spots.
"I'm looking forward to a good season," said Waverly coach Cookie Kritzwiser.
Kritzwiser believes the West Senators and Wheelersburg Lady Pirates will be the toughest games for the his squad this year.
"We want to continue to get better and take it one game at a time."
The Valley Lady Indians look to young players to step-up and play big. Valley finished last season at 8-15 falling to a very good Green squad in the sectional title game.
Valley will have to fill the holes left by the loss of Hailey Merritt, Jamie Montgomery, and Tiffany Adkins to graduation. The Lady Indians will also have to do without the services of Sammy Brewer who is out for the season with an ACL injury.
"We're going to be young," said Valley coach Montie Spriggs. "I'm going to start four or five freshmen."
One starter that does return for Spriggs' squad is senior pitcher and shortstop Stephanie Adronis. Spriggs feels she will be an integral part of the Lady Indians' 2008 campaign.
"She was honorable mention all-state last year," said Spriggs. "She will be the catalyst of how well we do this year."
The Lady Indians also return all-district selection Cassity Holcomb. Spriggs described Holcomb as a solid player who doesn't make very many mistakes. Becky Osborne is the other returning player for the Lady Indians.
Spriggs said Osborne was the best player the team had at the end of last season and mentioned that Osborne was a very hard worker and worked to get where she was at.
Spriggs said that his goal was to win 10 games and be competitive in the conference. Spriggs said the conference will be very tough with Wheelersburg and West being at the top.
The Minford Lady Falcons bring back five senior starters to lead this year's club.
The five seniors returning are Charity Moore, Alysha Lyons Faith Taulbee, Christan Riley and Abby Figlestahler.
The Lady Falcons also return four juniors to the team that saw time on the diamond last year. Ariel Ruggles, Shalyn Basham, Janelle Muck and Nichole Clifford.
According to Minford coach Donnie Bennett most of theses girls played last year.
The Lady Falcons did lose a pair of players to graduation off of last year's squad, Heather Councillor and Alexis Mault.
"(Our goals this year is to) get above .500," said Bennett. "I got some veterans, but we need to do the little things to do well this year.
"I have a real good group of senior leaders," Bennett said. "They do a very good job and I'm proud of them."
Last year the West Senators finished with a 20-6 record and second in the SOC II. West won the sectional championship before going down in defeat in the district.
The Senators have a group of seniors that will be the strength of this squad. Kayla Evans will play first base and pitch. Cassie Erlenwein will also see time in the circle as well as play third base. Taylor Messer will fill the shortstop position and Sam Page will handle the duties behind the plate.
"These kids worked hard for four years," said West coach Darryl Brickey. "We really expect big things out of them this year. If the younger kids step up and help these seniors we will be competitive."
Sophomore Becca Mosley will be starting at first base for the Senators, but Brickey said he still didn't have all nine positions filled.
"I got four outstanding seniors," said Brickey. "They're taking charge. They know what I expect and know what they expect as seniors. The other kids are looking up to them and listening."
The Northwest Lady Mohawks look to improve on a 9-13 mark and a sectional title with a lot of young talent. The Lady Mohawks only have four returning seniors on this year's squad.
Ashley Schaffer will be returning as the shortstop and coach Ed Cable hopes Schaffer can be a "spark plug."
Audrey Lute will be spending the majority of her time in the circle for the Lady Mohawks.
Northwest only has two juniors coming back in the persons of Sydney Moos and Alexis Mahaffey. A trio of sophomores also return for the Lady Mohawks - Brittany Ellis, Rachel Lute and Katie Malone.
Cable says that he has about six freshmen that look like they will step up and fill some holes.
"They'll provide us with some speed," said Cable. "We're still a pretty young team overall, but the freshmen group is a strong group and if we can mix together I think we will be pretty decent.
"The girls want to be in the hunt for a SOC crown," said Cable. Cable says that is a "big goal" with the likes of Waverly, West and Wheelersburg but he thinks it is possible.
The league always tough," said Cable. "The SOC is one of the toughest in the state. But if we play up to our potential we can surprise some people."
The Oak Hill Lady Oaks look to rebound from a rough season with three seniors leading the way.
The Lady Oaks have a pair of seniors returning on this year's team, Rachel Gleim and Megan Rakes and Oak Hill also has the addition of a new senior Emily Mauch.
The Lady Oaks have an army of sophomores returning with
Jessica Delaney, Laken Roach, Sammy Gleim, Ashley Kidd, Samantha Massie, Ashley Dickens, Kayli Taylor, Emily Gaines and Kayla Bentley coming back from last season's squad. Oak Hill has two freshmen in the persons of Rochelle Tucker and Jessica Humphreys.
"They are really standing up and showing good leadership," said Oak Hill coach Marty Bentley of his seniors. "I'm looking for my seniors to show good, positive attitude and keep the younger girls up and the seniors are taking charge."
Bentley's goal is to win at least 10 ball games this season.
"I'd like to win 50 percent," Bentley said. "That would be improvement from recent years."
Bentley thinks defense and pitching will be a strength with senior Rachel Gleim handling most of the pitching along with two younger pitchers.
"Everything looks promising to me all around," said Bentley. "I think they'll be fairly decent. I have good group of girls and I think great thing are going to happen."
The South Webster Lady Jeeps bring back five seniors and three pitchers with a year of experience.
The Lady Jeeps finished 11-11 last season under first year coach Rick Stringer.
This year Stringer's squad returns three starting pitchers that threw as freshman last season. The trio of now sophomores Hannah Giles, Kendra Clark, and Brianna Rawlins.
The Jeeps also return five seniors to this year's club. Kayla Maynard, Brittany Puckett, Rachel Reed, Becky Ross and Ashley Weeks.
("The seniors will) bring leadership and make everything more of a team effort," said Stringer. "The experience of the seniors and total experience as a young team (is a good thing). Everything is looking brighter."
Not only does Stringer think the experience of the players will help he also feels the experience of the coaching staff will help the team improve.
"Myself and my staff have another year of experience," said Stringer. "We were feeling our way through it last year."
Stringer's goal last year was to finish with a .500 record this year said he "wants much more than that."
The Portsmouth Trojans bring everybody back with the exception of one graduating senior Katie Click.
The Trojans will take the field this season without the benefit of any seniors.
Portsmouth does return all-district shortstop Emily Hopkins. The Trojans also return both pitchers from last year in Heather Drake and sophomore Jordan Howell.
Heather Krekeler an all-SEOAL selection returns at first base.
Crystal Carpenter will play third and Sydney Allen will handle the duties at second.
Junior Taylor Cooper will handle the catching with Landi Johnson, Sarah Kendall, Hannah Walsh and Andrea White will all see time in the outfield.
"We've had a couple losing seasons," said Portsmouth coach Joe Albrecht. "We're trying to get it back to where we had it in the past.
"We want to do better than we did last year," said Albrecht. "They want a chance in the SEOAL South, we'd like to get back to .500 and beyond that."