Even though the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans failed to make the state tournament after falling to St. Albans in the regional finals, they still put together a memorable season with memorable players and moments.
East finished 19-8 on the year with some impressive wins and all of their losses coming to really good teams.
The obvious high point to the year was the first game in the regional championship series against St. Albans when the Red Dragons rolled into Fairlea at 28-0 and ranked number 1 in the state. Thinking they would roll easily, St. Albans was beaten by the Spartans when Annabelle Honaker hit a game-winning, walk-off two-run single that handed the Red Dragons their first loss of the year.
St. Albans went to the state championship game but lost two straight to Cabell Midland who were crowned the champs.
East was led in hitting by senior Taylor Graham. She hit .386 with one home run and 22 RBI’s. She was also second on the team with 27 runs scored. Lindsey Black (.385), Josie Patterson (.365), Annabelle Honaker (.357) and Brooke Davis (.333) all also hit over .300.
Black led the team with four homers and second on the squad with 19 runs driven in. Patterson led East with nine doubles and had 15 RBI’s along with a home run. Honaker had five doubles and drove in 13. Davis, who missed the first several games because of an overlapped basketball schedule, had five doubles and played good defense at shortstop.
But the Spartans still featured more good hitters.
Olivia Plybon was just under the .300 mark at .286 and was second on the team in runs batted in with 20. Josi Ervin hit .284 with two homers and 14 RBI’s, and Riley Norman (one HR, eight RBI’s) also put up offensive numbers.
On the pitching mound, Graham and Ervin were the featured starters.
Ervin threw 85.1 innings and had 123 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.36. The left-handed sophomore will lead the Spartans for two more years.
Graham had 103 strikeouts in 70.2 innings pitched. Her ERA was an impressive 2.08. The future nurse practitioner graduated and exhausted her eligibility, but will go down with impressive career numbers.
The Spartans will return all but the two seniors in Honaker and Graham next season so the core nucleus will still be there. If the coaches can replace some of Graham and Honaker’s production, they should enjoy another successful 2022 season.
Stats courtesy of team score-keeper, Jen Ervin.