POMONA — With 11 returners on this year’s squad, the West Franklin softball team hopes to improve from last year’s losing season. The areas of concern now are with hitting, Michelle Haupt, West Franklin head softball coach, said.

“Some things we have to improve on would definitely be our hitting,” she said. “Our hitting and making fewer errors in the field.”

Haupt is in her second year as head coach of the Falcons and has 16 total out for softball this year, she said. Several of those players are returners that she hopes will help the team improve this season.

“Alexis Yelland is a senior and will probably be our starting center-fielder,” Haupt said. “She is a left-handed hitter and has good contact with the bat. Brittany Shaffer is just a sophomore this year, but she has big plans for on the bases. She is really quick and is a good utility.”

The team also returns its pitchers from last season, Haupt said.

“We have our returning pitchers Sierra Jones and Tiffani Montano,” she said. “They will get equal playing time, I’m thinking, but we will try to get a lot of switching out between them.”

Despite a rough season last year, Haupt is confident that her team will be more competitive this year.

“My expectations are definitely to do better than what we did last year,” she said. “Be competitive as a team and don’t get down on ourselves, and turn our hitting around and maybe change the game around with some stolen bases and catching our opponents off guard.”

The Falcons open the season with a doubleheader April 9 against Osage City, Haupt said.