NEW RICHMOND - Their careers overlapped, but on Wednesday night they stood together.
Stephanie Brown-Gray, Christy Clay-Laxton, Brittany "Binky" Harris and Jennifer Rinehart-Myers were the first class inducted into the newly formed Wyoming East High School Softball Hall of Fame at the annual Wyoming East softball banquet.
The athletes, who were active during the early years of Wyoming East High School, hold the distinction of having many firsts.
Brown-Gray and Clay-Laxton both began their careers at Pineville High School before Wyoming East opened.
Their careers were intertwined, Brown-Gray (1999), Laxton (1999-2000) and Rinehart-Myers (1999-2002) all played on the first Wyoming East softball team, and Harris was a freshman during Rinehart-Myers' senior year (2002).
Brown-Gray was a second baseman and a shortstop during her career at Wyoming East.
She is the first Lady Warrior to hit an out-of-the-park home run in her senior year, her only season playing for the then-new high school.
The Lady Warriors went on to finish 15-6 that season and won the sectional championship, falling in the regional championship to eventual state champion Chapmanville.
She was named to the all-Coalfield Conference four straight years over her career.
In her senior season at Wyoming East, Brown-Gray hit .471 with 28 RBI, 34 runs scored and had 11 doubles, three triples and three home runs.
She is the daughter of E.L. and Bonnie Brown of Glen Fork. She and husband Jeff Gray reside in Oak Hill and are the parents of Jackson (10) and Cambree Ryan (3 months).
She has a degree in respiratory therapy and is a sales representative at Rotech in Beckley.
Christy Clay Laxton
Clay-Laxton played pitcher/shortstop, first at Pineville and then at Wyoming East.
She was a four-time all-Coalfield Conference selection and was named to the second-team all-state team as a senior.
For her career, Laxton hit .445 with 109 RBIs and 151 runs scored.
She played on sectional championship teams in 1998, 1999 and 2000 and the Warriors went 69-22 during her four years playing softball.
Laxton, executive director of the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority, has been married to husband Mike for 17 years. The have four children, Luke (16), Andrea (13), Sydney (9) and Nathan (6).
Brittany "Binky" Harris
A catcher and a shortstop at Wyoming East, Harris was known for her role as the leadoff hitter at Wyoming East.
She wore No. 18 her freshman year, but changed to No. 21, inheriting the number worn by Rinehart-Myers.
She was a three-time All-Coalfield Conference honoree, and was a second-team as a sophomore. Following her senior, year she became the first Lady Warrior to earn first-team all-state honors.
She ended her career hitting .550 and also stole over 100 bases.
She is the daughter of David and Tammy Harris of Beckley.
Harris earned a bachelor of science degree in math education at West Virginia State and her master of arts degree in leadership at Marshall. She realized her goal of being a teacher and coach and is now assistant principal at Horace Mann Middle School in Charleston.
Rinehart was primarily a pitcher at Wyoming East, appearing in 63 games between the circle.
She totaled 389 innings and had 386 career strikeouts.
She was the only senior on the team when Doc Warner became the coach in 2002.
She was a second team all-Coalfield pick as a sophomore and a first-team choice her final three seasons. She was a second-team all-state performer as a sophomore, junior and senior.
She earned a scholarship to Concord University, where she pitched and played left field for two years before transferring to Mountain State.
She and her husband Heath have three sons, Paxton (8), Jacob (6) and Zayne (2). They reside in Beckley, where she is a physical therapy assistant for Kindred at Home.