Rain, wind, cold and whatever is related to those greeted the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans on Friday, March 17 in their softball 2023 season opener.
In what was a battle from start to finish, East lost to a good Independence Patriots team 4-1.
Errors were a big difference in the game with the Spartans committing five and Independence playing a little cleaner in the rough weather with none.
The Pats took their first and final lead in the third inning when Alli Hypes reached base on an error. Kendall Martin then hit a double to left center that brought Hypes across home plate, and then Emma Lilly knocked Martin in with a base hit.
And that would be all Patriots pitcher Delaney Buckland would need.
Buckland earned the win and lasted seven innings, allowed four hits and one run while striking out 14 and walking one.
Josi Ervin toed the rubber for Greenbrier East and pitched very well in her season debut. The lefty went the full seven innings, gave up four runs (0 earned) on five hits and struck out seven.
Lindsey Black, Lilly Carola, Alanis McClary, and Taylor Boswell each managed one hit to pace the Spartans four total base knocks.
Lilly went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Independence in hits.
The Spartans face another tough test against defending state champion Lincoln County in a double header on Saturday, March 18.