Harmon's always on the hunt
Louisiana Tech senior has her sights set in every field she enters
If you want to look up Louisiana Tech softball player Kendra Harmon, you’d likely find her in one of three places: In the outfield. Out in the field. In the classroom.
Take your pick. She excels at all three.
An avid hunter from a hunting family, Harmon shot her first deer when she was just 6. She began playing softball competitively three years later.
“Softball is one aspect of my life and hunting is more the thing I do with my family away from softball,” Harmon said. “It’s kind of like a vacation from it, I guess you could say.”
Though her hitting has been a bit down this season -- Harmon was batting .222 with six doubles and a triple following an April 30 doubleheader with McNeese State -- she’s been a productive player throughout her college career. Harmon hit .287 as a sophomore and .275 as a junior, actually hitting over .300 the balance of the 2011 season after an 0-for-18 start.
Harmon approaches her hunting and softball with the same passion as she does her studies. On pace to be an academic All-Western Athletic Conference selection for the third consecutive year, Harmon earned her undergraduate degree in accounting two quarters ago and should earn her Master’s degree this November.
Harmon hails from Holden, La., just east of Baton Rouge. Louisiana’s state nickname is “Sportsman’s Paradise,” and those are two words that the Harmon family takes to heart. Every Christmas season, the entire family packs up and heads to Giles Island Hunting Club near Ferriday, La., hometown of Jerry Lee Lewis and plenty of big game.
“My family is a big part of my softball life, but I don’t always get to see my sisters or my family members,” Harmon said. “When I go home and have a break, we have hunting.”
Though hunting is her getaway, pretty soon Harmon may become better known for shooting deer than rapping out base hits.
It was on a recent trip to Giles Island that Harmon and her sister, Ashlyn, were approached by a film crew from the Outdoors Channel. Earlier this year, the Harmon sisters returned there to record a segment for the Outdoor Channel’s “Mossy Oak’s Hunting in the Country” show, which will air sometime this summer.
“It was a cool experience,” Harmon said. “My sister and I both killed an eight-point deer.”
Some of her college friends and softball teammates give Harmon a perplexed look when she describes her love for hunting, but Harmon is confident more of them would enjoy it if they gave it a try.
“It’s something different,” Harmon said. “I know it sounds morbid, but it gives you a rush to be able to put a good shot on something to kill it. I think if more women would try it they would actually like it. Growing up it never bothered me because it was something I’ve always done.”
While her annual hunting trips will continue, Harmon knows that for her, soon softball will not. Louisiana Tech wraps up its regular season with a three-game set Friday and Saturday at Fresno State. Then it’s off to the WAC Tournament starting May 9 in Las Cruces, N.M.
With a 21-29 record going into the Fresno State series, Harmon’s softball career will end in Las Cruces barring a Cinderella run by the Lady Techsters.
“We had our senior day this past weekend,” Harmon said. “It’s something I’ve done my whole life, so it’s bittersweet that it’s coming to an end. It’s something I’ve always really enjoyed doing, going new places and making new friends.”
The highlights included trips to play two WAC softball series’ at Hawaii, despite the arduous 16-hour trek from Ruston that’s required.
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Harmon said. “A lot of people move away to go to college and make new friends. But being a college athlete you come in with a team and you have friends already there for you. Softball really helped me to adjust to the whole college scene and gave me a sense of belonging.
“You don’t have to try to make your own place. You have a place.”
Soon, though, the place to find Harmon won’t be on the softball diamond.
It will be back in the hunting stand, where Harmon will be waiting for that perfect moment to find its way right into her sights.