After finishing 13-12 this past season, one might think the Greenbrier East Lady Spartans softball team did not have the type of year they wanted.
But, outside of the ultimate goal of winning a state championship, that would be false.
East got all the way to the regional championship series before falling to one of the best teams in the state, St. Albans.
East played one of their more difficult schedules in the last several years, but still placed three players–Josi Ervin, Aubrey Glover and Brooke Davis—on the all-state teams. Some of the team highlights were beating Ripley — typically a thorn in the Spartans’ proverbial side, beating Westside, and defeating Woodrow Wilson and their ace pitcher, Aubrey Smallwood in the sectional championship two-games-to-one.
East dealt with some injuries as well that affected some wins and losses. Glover had gotten injured in basketball, and she missed several days early in the season. Olivia Plybon, Lindsey Black and Lilly Carola all missed significant time forcing some of the other girls into major action, which will help next season and beyond.
Black’s absence hurt as she led the team in batting average for the season at .389. She had two doubles, a team-leading four home runs and 12 RBIs as well. She also scored 10 runs before going down.
Taylor Boswell progressed nicely through the year and finished hitting .338 on the season. She also led the team with 26 hits. She had two home runs, two doubles and led the team with 18 RBIs and was tied for second with 22 runs scored.
Davis (.333), Glover (.325) and Ervin (.323) were third, fourth and fifth, respectively in hitting. Davis contributed 23 hits, tied for first with seven doubles, had 16 RBIs and 22 runs scored. She also stole 16 bases. Glover got 25 hits, six doubles, scored 27 runs and drove in nine. She led the team with two triples and 19 stolen bases.
Ervin continued her trajectory upward after a strong sophomore season in 2021. In 2022, she ripped seven doubles, scored nine runs, drove in 12 and stole seven bases. She was also the number one starting pitcher. The lefty went 10-8 on the mound, threw 112 innings, scattered 89 hits and struck out 119 batters. Her ERA was 2.12.
The catcher, Plybon, was having a stellar season before going down with her injury. She was hitting .321 with 17 hits, six doubles and 16 RBIs. Her fielding percentage was .993 also.
Rylee Norman played arguably her best two games of the season in the regionals against the Red Dragons. The scrappy senior concluded the year hitting .299 with four doubles and 12 RBI’s. Throw in her 14 runs and eight stolen bases, and Norman ended her career on a positive note.
Carola backed up Ervin on the pitching hill regularly. She ended with 42 innings pitched, a 3-3 record, 35 hits allowed and 54 strikeouts. Her ERA was 3.83. She drove in six runs at the plate and had three doubles as well.
The Spartans graduated their three seniors but return a lot of talent.
Gracie Gumm, Jenna Groves, Hailey Ervin, Alanis McClary and Alizabeth Wooding. Olivia Burdette, Allyson Martin and Haley Byars are some other names to watch for next season.