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Lady Vikings Harmon signs with Shawnee

WILLOW WOOD - Lori Harmon wanted to play college softball, and she wanted to play close to home.

She'll get both.

Harmon, the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings senior pitching sensation, signed a letter-of-intent to play at the college level for the Shawnee State Lady Golden Bears.

"I'm real excited about it," Harmon said. "They're close to home and I really like the program there, and the girls are really nice."

Harmon said she knows that playing at the college level will be a challenge.

"I'm going to have to work harder and practice more," Harmon said. "I'm going to have to use more pitches and try to hit more spots."

Lady Vikings coach Jeff

"Odie" Estep said Harmon will do well at the college level.

"I think she'll be an impact player with her numbers and her work ethic. With the type of numbers she has put up, you have to work hard and she has since she was 8 years old," Estep said. "Shawnee coach Ralph Cole is very high on her. He feels the same way about her."

Getting a chance to play at the college level has been a longtime goal for Harmon.

"I've thought about it for quite a while. I wanted to do well in high school so I would have a chance to keep playing," Harmon said.

Judging by her numbers and work ethic, Harmon figures to play a few more years after her high school career has ended.

As a junior, Harmon was 14-4 with a microscopic 0.28 earned run average. She struck out 242 batters in 128.2 innings. Of the 21 runs she allowed, only four were earned. She gave up just 35 hits and also recorded a save.

Harmon was 8-5 as a sophomore with an 0.80 ERA. She struck out 177 in 101 innings pitched and gave up 27 hits and 29 runs, nine earned.

"Lori is a great kid and she's accomplished so much, but she doesn't like the spotlight," Estep said.

Harmon has established a slew of records for the Lady Vikings and her highlights list could be put in book form.

— Most strikeouts in a game (19), 2004

— Perfect games in a season (3), 2004

— No-hitters in a season (6), 2004

— No-hitters in a season (5), 2004

— Career no-hitters (11)

— Back-to-back no-hitters 2 times, 2002, and 3 times, 2004

— Consecutive innings pitched without a walk, 26 innings

Not only is Harmon an outstanding pitcher, she also produces on the offensive side of the plate.

Last season she batted .361 with 20 runs batted in and had 12 doubles.