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PHU's Laura Herndon officially a Boilermaker

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Fri. November 13, 2009 | Bryan Burns

Laura Herndon’s decision to sign a letter of intent with the Purdue Boilermakers should make for some interesting dinner conversation around the Herndon household.

Herndon, a senior centerfielder for Palm Harbor University, inked Friday with Purdue after committing to the Big Ten school in August. Herndon said most of her family lives in Indiana and went to Indiana University, a rival of the Boilermakers.

"It’s kind of controversial within my family," Herndon said with a laugh.

Herndon has been in contact with the Purdue coaching staff for close to two years. At a travel ball tournament in Colorado in late July, the Boilermakers officially offered Herndon moments after the rangy outfielder made a home run-stealing catch that she had to flip over the fence to grab.

"They came up to me after the game and told me, ‘hey, that was a great catch,’" Herndon said. "Then they offered me a scholarship. It was amazing when I got that offer. It made my world. It was a great way to end the tournament."

Herndon said her final decision came down to Purdue, Emory and Coastal Carolina. Her official visit to the Purdue campus in September cemented her decision.

"The coaches at Purdue are amazing," she said. "The name Purdue is just such a big name. They have huge expectations. And, a Purdue diploma would help me so much with what I want to do later in life."

Herndon, who plans to major in finance, was a Times first team all county selection following a junior season that saw her bat .469 with four doubles and two triples for the Hurricanes. One of the area’s best defensively, Herndon has been a three year starter for PHU.

Bryan Burns, Times staff writer

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