SSU inks Lady Vikings duo

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

AID — This batter should give the Shawnee State Lady Bears softball team quite a charge.

Symmes Valley Lady Vikings pitcher Mandi Estep and catcher Megan Coomes became the first two players to sign with Shawnee State.

During their careers, the duo helped the Lady Vikings post a 91-26 record.

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“Megan and Mandi are quite a battery,” Lady Vikings coach Jeff “Odie” Estep said. “Mandi did a heck of a job for us this season after we lost Lori Harmon. Megan is a good catcher who can hit the long ball and drive in runs.”

Harmon, who led the Lady Vikings to the Division IV state title game last year, was one of the Lady Bears top two pitchers this season.

Coomes earned first team All-Southern Ohio Conference as well as first team coaches all-district and second team All-Ohio. She was named an Ohio all-scholar athlete.

“I hope I can make an impact right off the bat,” Coomes said. “SSU has a great program and I want to help win a championship.”

Estep was a major reason the Lady Vikings won 24 games and reached the regional semifinals. Not only was she first team All-SOC but she was the SOC and district Player of the Year.

“I really got a good vibe from the coaches and players on the (Shawnee State) team,” Estep said. “Hopefully, I can step in and make a quick impact and help get the team back to the (NAIA) national tournament.”

Lady Bears coach Ralph Cole was more than happy to add the two players to his team’s roster.

“Both of these young ladies have a chance to step in and start right out of the gate,” Cole said. “Coach Estep has done a great job at Symmes Valley. These players know the hard work and dedication it takes to win. They both have the capability to really make an impact on our program the next four years.”

Shawnee State is a member of the American Mideast Conference. The Lady Bears were 30-13 last season including 10-4 in the conference.