By ANDY WOLF
BLOOMDALE — Rebecca Harvey didn’t wait until her senior year to add her name to the Elmwood record books.
While she will have another year to add to those totals, she is already setting her sights on the next level.
Last week, Harvey verbally committed to play softball for the University of Findlay, beginning in the spring of 2016.
“It was close to home and better than the rest of them,” Harvey said, simply on choosing Findlay. “They reached out to me the most. The coach was really nice and I like the program.”
Harvey also cited Findlay having an education program, which she is strongly considering as a field of study.
The Lady Oilers, who play in the Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, just completed a 23-19 season under coach Ron Ammons.
Ammons will enter his 13th season next year and has guided the Lady Oilers to 207 wins and four straight seasons with at least 20 wins.
Ammons also helped the Lady Oilers qualify for the GLIAC tournament in which they upset the top-seeded Ohio Dominican Panthers 16-11 before bowing out in the next round to Ashland.
“Findlay wants girls that do the simple things and know the game,” Elmwood coach Matt Hoiles said. “It’s fun to see their progression and how they expand into great people.”
Meanwhile in Harvey’s junior season, she crushed eight home runs to set the Elmwood single-season record.
Brittany George set the previous record with seven home runs just last season and is now playing for Owens Community College.
Harvey crushed the record-breaking blast in the sectional championship game against Delta in which the Royals won 12-2.
She also led the Royals with 13 doubles, five triples, 47 RBIs and a .483 batting average in 87 at-bats.
Her efforts earned her recognition on the first-team All-State team for Division III.
Last season the Royals concluded a stellar year with a 23-4 record and a postseason run that ended in the Division III regional finals with a 19-3 loss to Bloom-Carroll.
The Royals also finished second in the Northern Buckeye Conference with the league title coming down to a regular season finale against Eastwood in which the Eagles won 9-4 on their home field.
Harvey was also one of five Elmwood players named first-team All-Northern Buckeye Conference.
She, along with Olivia Myers, Miranda Benschoter and Kristi Reiser, will return for their senior season while Madison Arnold earned the nod as a senior.
“I expect to do better than I did this year and go farther in the tournament,” Harvey said. “I guess I don’t have any specific goals yet.”
As a sophomore, Harvey also earned a first-team NBC selection at third base.
“As a freshman I knew she had talent and a very good work ethic,” Hoiles said. “Since then she’s been tremendous in setting an example for the other players around her.”
Hoiles has been with the Royals for the past 15 seasons and has racked up over 300 wins to just 116 losses.
In his tenure he has seen plenty of his players continue on to play at Findlay.
Brittany Dauterman recently completed her career at Findlay from 2011 to 2014, ending with a first-team GLIAC selection.
Emily Reynolds also capped her senior year in 2014 by earning an honorable mention GLIAC selection and starting in 124 games.
Morgan Arnold has also appeared in 96 games while making 83 starts over the past three years.
As Harvey is soon to follow in their footsteps, Hoiles is confident that she will succeed along the path that lies ahead of her.
“She worries more about the stuff she can control rather than what she can’t,” Hoiles said. “I know she’ll bring leadership and effort on the field.”
While Harvey hasn’t set any personal goals for college just yet, she already has much to anticipate before she walks through the arch located on UF’s campus to signal the start of her freshman year.
“I’m looking forward to making new friends and starting a new environment,” Harvey said. “I’m not going to be able to rely on my parents for everything.”
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