Replacing two all-state players is not an easy task, although returning two all-state players certainly lessens the blow.
Greensburg Salem graduated first-team all-state left fielder Alex Garsteck and second-team all-state center fielder Alyssa Mellinger from last year's squad that reached the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.
But the cupboard is hardly bare for coach Jody Morgan's team.
"With two all-state players back you still should be pretty competitive," Morgan said. "We should be as good as -- if not better than -- last year."
The Golden Lions have arguably the top pitcher-catcher combination in Class AAA with senior pitcher Jayne Oberdorf and senior catcher Taylor Meehan.
Oberdorf, a Marist College recruit, was 16-3 last season with 193 strikeouts.
Meehan batted .590 from the cleanup spot in the lineup with seven home runs including two grand slams. Both were named second-team all-state last season.
"Who is batting .590 and hitting seven home runs in fast pitch softball over 21 games?" Morgan said. "She is just a great hitter."
Meehan is looking to play in college as well.
"I cannot believe more schools aren't coming after her," Morgan said. "If I was a Division II coach, I would be knocking down her door. She is just a great athlete."
Oberdorf was dominant at times last season. She took a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh inning of the WPIAL semifinals against Elizabeth Forward but a bases-loaded single, the only hit she allowed all game, drove in two runs and led the Warriors to a 2-1 win.
"I think they are still mad about that," Morgan said. "That will be in their gut all season."
After a 10-0 record in Class AAA Section 4 a year ago, the Golden Lions are once again the favorite in the new-look section that welcomes Albert Gallatin, Brownsville Area and Mount Pleasant. Brownsville and Mount Pleasant move up from Class AA while Albert Gallatin moves down from Class AAAA.
Despite not competing in the same section last season, Greenburg Salem and Mount Pleasant played each other twice during the regular season with the Vikings winning the first meeting, 6-5, and Greensburg Salem winning the second, 10-0.
"I would think Mount Pleasant would be the favorite along with us," Morgan said.
Oberdorf and Meehan have been Greensburg Salem's regular battery since their sophomore year.
"It's their senior year, they want to go and win it all," Morgan said. "They are kind of like sisters, they fight sometimes like sisters but they are good for each other."
While Oberdorf and Meehan act like sisters at times, Oberdorf's actual sister starts behind her at shortstop. Claire Oberdorf burst onto the scene last year as a freshman and started at shortstop.
"She is just unbelievable," Morgan said. "She is a pretty good catcher, too."
The major question mark for Greensburg Salem is the outfield, where Garsteck and Mellinger need to be replaced.
"Trying to fill those two spots, we are not sure yet," Morgan said. "We have not been out on the field because of the weather."
Offensively, Meehan and junior second baseman Kelly Hutchinson are the top hitters in the lineup. Hutchinson bats third in front of Meehan. She hit better than .700 in the postseason last year.