Coach Meghan Johnson won't minimize the impact of losing four seniors, especially when one of those seniors was Ansley Williams, who set school records in stolen bases (24), RBIs (28) and batting average (.563) in 2009.
But, she hopes her incoming freshmen class, as well as Adairsville's returning players can make up for the loss of Williams.
"Ansley, she's a stud and she was great, on and off the field," Johnson said of the North Georgia College and State signee, "but we picked up a few freshmen that are strong and we think by the end of the season they'll be able to help us out."
Of last year's freshmen, Johnson feels that group is better prepared to step in and help lead.
"I think the girls are ready," she said. "They've had a lot of experience with high-caliber travel ball games."
Johnson acknowledged that last year couldn't have been easy for her sophomores, who were relied upon to contribute right away.
"I think it was hard," she said. "They had played travel ball, but it was with the younger age group."
This summer, pitcher Taylor Weeks, catcher Cassidy Howren and shortstop Kaliegh Liscio played with the 14-and-under Bartow County Junior League all-stars who won state and played in the Southeast regional tournament.
Of what she learned last season, Weeks, a selection to The Daily-Tribune News' All-County Softball Team, said: "You got to give it your all (each) time ... and even though you're the youngest (player), you can still play with everybody else."
Along with Weeks, Howren and Liscio, the Lady Tigers return other veteran starters, which include senior outfielders Tia Hicks, Caitlin Berkenkamp and April Anglin and junior second baseman Haley Lancaster, the team's second-best hitter last year behind Williams.
Hicks said Adairsville's three main goals this summer were to communicate better, display a better attitude and give maximum effort.
"We grew stronger as a team (following last year)," she said. "We are a lot more motivated this year. ... We want to win so bad."
Although Johnson just got some of her players this week after an extended summer playing with other teams, she said Adairsville hasn't missed much of a beat.
"We've been able to pick up where we left off, which is always nice," she said. "We're really, really excited about this season.
"We're hoping they're going to go far in the postseason."
That would be a tremendous accomplishment for a team that missed out on the playoffs last year, one of two teams -- Cartersville was the other -- among the five local teams to do so.
Johnson, however, sees enough improvement in her team to give it the extra wins needed to qualify for the Georgia High School Association Class AA state tournament.
"They're bats have all come alive. Right now, we don't have a weak spot in the lineup," the Lady Tigers' coach said. "We have such strength (from players) 1-12.
"We were always (shorthanded) last year, and this year we're having the opposite problem."
Adairsville will be fast to the bases this season, said Johnson, who has seven players who can get to first base in three seconds led by first-time player -- and member of the Lady Tigers' state-qualifying 1,600-meter track and field relay team -- Hannah Greeson.
Beyond speed and hitting, Johnson hopes the team's biggest improvement will be teamwork and a unified outlook.
"This year it's more of a team effort instead of an individual effort. We don't have one overpowering player," she said. "We're focusing on ... being a better team."
In the past, players would clamor for more playing time.
Now, however, they all seem to be on the same accord.
"That's something we've always struggled with, 'I want to be on the field,'" Johnson said. "This year, they're really focusing on being a unit ... instead of an individual."
Adairsville opens the season today at Alto Park in Rome in an annual tournament hosted by Model.
The Lady Tigers play Walker at 6 p.m. and Coosa at 9 p.m.