Harbin signs with WVU Tech

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

King's Fork senior softball player Kayla Harbin signs with West Virginia University Institute of Technology during a recent ceremony at King's Fork High School, as family, friends and coaches look on.

King’s Fork senior softball player Kayla Harbin signs with West Virginia University Institute of Technology during a recent ceremony at King’s Fork High School, as family, friends and coaches look on.

For a while, it seemed like King’s Fork senior Kayla Harbin’s softball career might be coming to an end with the conclusion of the 2014 high school season. But she recaptured her dream to play college ball in April and signed with West Virginia University Institute of Technology during a recent ceremony at King’s Fork High School.

“It made me happy to come here and sign, knowing people would have my back,” she said.

It was the support and encouragement of another Kayla on the Lady Bulldogs that prompted Harbin this year to re-pursue an opportunity at the next level.

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“It was my dream to play in college,” Harbin said. “Then when I quit travel (ball) this past summer, I was like, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ And then Kayla (Jones) changed my aspect, gave me a different point of view, saying why I should do it.”

Harbin traveled to WVU Tech for the Easter weekend and tried out for the Golden Bears. The school made her an offer for an athletic scholarship that she subsequently accepted.

“I had the last scholarship for the softball team,” she said of the club that has already signed Jones and King’s Fork alum Megan Blythe.

Harbin’s mother, Shannon Harbin, was on hand for the signing ceremony, and later stated it was an emotional day as she rejoiced to see her daughter regaining her college softball goal.

“I am a proud mother, who is extremely happy for her accomplishments and that the natural ability she has in playing softball I will get to enjoy and watch for four more years,” Shannon Harbin stated in an email. “I’m sure there will be many road trips in store for me and her friends, for all the home games.”

Kayla Harbin is a two-year letterman at King’s Fork and received all-district honorable mention last year. She has also played for Team Dynasty and the Hampton Roads Vipers travel ball teams.

Her opportunity to play in college was a result of hard work, she said, adding, “My dad really pushed me to go to my full potential.”

Her father, James Harbin, said, “I was trying to prepare her mentally for the game at that next level.”

Now that she has made it, he said, “She worked for it, she got her full potential, and I know she has a lot more to give at that level. I’m just extremely proud of her.”

King’s Fork coach Richard Froemel highlighted the qualities that make Harbin a strong part of his team.

“She has a knack for softball, she has a knack for not letting herself see the negative part of softball, which can very easily happen as far as errors and things of that nature,” he said. “She’s very positive-minded, and I admire her for that, and she helps keep everybody up.”

Harbin plans to major in psychology at WVU Tech.