Even without the winningest Class AAA battery in Kanawha County history, the St. Albans softball team plans to continue without missing a step.
This summer, the Red Dragons have used their three-week offseason training period to identify leaders, both on and off the field, to spark the team next season after graduating pitcher Ali Haynes and catcher Mariah Caudill.
Haynes and Caudill were AAA First Team All-State selections and will continue playing at West Virginia State University.
"Since 2000, we're 250-81, we like to say we reload, not rebuild," SA Coach Greg Garber said, "and we would like to keep it that way.
"Good programs lose good players every year, and we just try to replace them and move on and make the adjustments we need to make."
The Red Dragons certainly qualify as a good program, coming off a 28-5 season. SA won the AAA State Championship in 2010 in the program's winningest season, one that featured Haynes and Caudill as starting freshmen when the team finished 34-1.
As Garber said, the philosophy is "reload, not rebuild" and the records prove that.
"The thing I'm probably the most proud of at St. Albans is in 22 years we've only had one losing season," he said.
The cupboard lost two solid pieces, but it's still well stocked, as seven starters will return, though they might be in different places.
One of those parts in a new position will be senior Madi Marshall, who is expected to become one of the team's top pitchers after starting at shortstop in 2013, third base in 2012 and second base in 2011.
"Madi Marshall, she's been a stalwart of ours starting the last couple years, a very key part of our team," Garber said.
Marshall, the team's top leading hitter at .458 last season, will get the first look at pitcher for 2014, Garber said. She was the lone pitcher beside Haynes to pitch varsity innings.