Harmon completes her stellar #039;K#039;areer

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

AID - Lori Harmon had a career year. It fit in real well with her career.Harmon, the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings senior pitching ace, finished her career with 786 strikeouts including 275 this season. She was 21-3 this year and finished with an overall record of 43-12.

During her four-year career, Harmon has put up some lofty numbers and she owns virtually every pitching record in the school.

4Most strikeouts in a game (19), 2004

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4Perfect games in a season (3), 2004 and 2005

4No-hitters in a season (6), 2004 and 2005

4Career no-hitters (17)

4Back-to-back no-hitters 2 times, 2002, and 3 times, 2004

4Consecutive innings pitched without a walk, 26 innings

4Most wins in a single season (21)

"Lori has had a heck of a career. I can't say enough about her. She's the best I've ever had," Symmes Valley Coach Jeff "Odie" Estep said. "Harmon has set records that will never be broken, and we're going to have to regroup next year without her."

Behind the pitching of Harmon, Symmes Valley went to the Division IV state tournament, the first time any Symmes Valley team has advanced to the state semifinals or championship game.

"It was great. To (make the state tournament) and know you're one of the top four teams is really good, and getting to the top two is really something that's hard to believe," Harmon said.

However, Harmon's lofty numbers may mean something on the inside, but she continues to be humble and doesn't like to talk about her career.

"I played with a lot of great ball players. I had a lot of support from coaches, fans and teammates," Harmon said.

Being the ace of the pitching staff, Harmon not only pitched most of the games but she faced the toughest of opponents including Crestview in the state finals.

That was fine with her.

"I didn't really feel any pressure. It's about the same (as a regular season game), just more fans," Harmon said.

Next up for Harmon is a career with Shawnee State. She hopes the Lady Bears can generate as much or more success.

"I'd like to finish first in a tournament," Harmon said.

Pitching at the next level doesn't seem to intimidate the Lady Vikings pitching ace.

"I have to work hard in the offseason. I have to work on hitting my spots," Harmon said. "I always lift weights in the offseason, so I'll continue with that."

Harmon said pitching against a team like Crestview in the state finals benefited her. She said seeing a good-hitting team made her adjust to their hitters.

"When (Crestview) hit the ball more, it helps me adjust to the hitter," Harmon said.

Estep said hard work won't be a problem for Harmon.

"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."

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.

"I think she's going to be a lot better and a lot stronger. She's going to be a heck of a college player," Estep said.