Build and rebuild, boom and bust; it's an inevitable part of any athletic program - from high school all the way to the professional leagues - as veteran players move on and younger, less experienced ones step in.
And now, after a number of years at the top of Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 4 and near the top of Section 6 Class D softball, it's the Panama Lady Panthers' turn to do a little bit of structural overhaul.
"This is only my second year of coaching (Panama softball)," Tammy Hosier said, "so this situation is new and different. Last year we had a lot of experience and a pitcher that had pitched since the ninth grade, now we're very young and very inexperienced."
Making things even more difficult for the youthful crew is the fact that Panama moved up to Division 3 at the beginning of this year.
"Of all years to move up," Hosier said with a laugh.
Panama lost five seniors from last season's squad, including a pair of Post-Journal all-stars in pitcher Taylor Lloyd and second baseman Andrea Marsh.
Together, the senior group accounted for a combined 70 runs scored, 71 hits (47 percent of the team's total) and 63 RBIs (48 percent). Either Marsh, who drilled eight home runs, or Lloyd, who was the team's every-day pitcher and hit .397, led the team in every major offensive statistical category save total doubles.
Nine of the Lady Panthers' 14 players are sophomores or younger, and only four (current seniors Kirsten Green and Jessica Leonard, junior Carly Abbate and sophomore Brittany Lenart) of the seven returnees from last year's team logged heavy playing time.
That means Hosier has filled five positions with new, or semi-new faces.
"We're learning," she said. "I see so much learning going on. I had one eighth-grader that courtesy ran (on Wednesday against Pine Valley). (On one play) I yelled for her to go home and she hesitated and stutter-stepped, but the next time around she was fine.
"You can see the inexperience, but I'm also seeing a lot of improvement."
That's the most encouraging sign for Hosier, whose Lady Panthers reached the Section 6 Class D semifinals last season after having made it to the Class D finals under former coach Rob Main in 2011.
"We're going to improve," Hosier said of the team, which is currently 2-2 overall and a winless 0-2 in league, "and we're going to surprise some people."
The best place to start? Today at 4:30 p.m. - their next game.
ALLEGANY - Allegany-Limestone overcame an early, 2-0 deficit with a six-run second inning on the way to toppling the visiting Falconer Lady Golden Falcons, 11-3.
Allegany-Limestone (1-2, 1-2) drew six walks during the game-deciding frame against Falconer starter Katie Hines, and with the bases loaded Laura O'Keefe broke the game open with a three-run triple.
Along with O'Keefe, teammate Brandi Fuller went 1-for-3 with a triple and a pair of RBIs.
Moriah Monroe earned the complete-game victory when she scattered seven hits, fanned three and walked two.
For Falconer, which connected on three of its seven total hits and two of its first three runs in the first inning, Brianna McFall had two hits with two runs scored and Abby Courtney had two hits in three at-bats with a run scored.
BEARS GO YARD
FREWSBURG - The power was on display for Frewsburg.
The Bears (2-0, 4-3) socked four home runs and went on to defeat Cattaraugus-Little Valley (1-1, 1-2), 13-8.
McKenzie Cass slammed her first of three hits with a two-run home run in the first inning.
Sam Mott was next with a three-run blast in the second inning, Emily Hair had a three-run homer in the fourth and the next batter Annie Berg followed with a solo shot for the Bears.
Shawna Raymond added three hits, Hair had a double to finish with two hits and Mott also delivered two hits for Frewsburg, which led 12-1 after four innings.
Mott went 4 innings and Alanna Blanchard 2 innings in the win.
Kaylee Eaton stroked two singles for Cattaraugus-Little Valley.
CLYMER STEALS WIN
CLYMER - Andrea Fredenberg stole home to cap a two-run seventh inning as Clymer (1-1,1-2) outlasted West Valley, 9-8.
Clymer had a 7-1 lead at one stage of the game before West Valley bounced back all the way to take a 8-7 lead.
Jo-Linda Rhodes drove in three runs with a double and a single, and Dani Reinwald delivered two RBIs on two hits for Clymer.
Brook Smith and Macey Kaggelmacher split four hits for West Valley.