« Softball 2020

Jessie Harper

School

Arizona

Position
Shortstop
Major
Sociology

Classroom

Harper has excelled in the classroom during her time at Arizona as a sociology major. Harper’s 3.68 cumulative GPA has earned her numerous academic honors, including receiving First-Team CoSIDA All-District a season ago when she posted a 4.0 GPA for the academic year. Harper is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honoree. Harper is a member of the UA College of Social & Behavior Sciences Dean’s List and was the recipient of the college’s Highest Academic Distinction for maintaining a 4.0 GPA for 30 units during the 2018-2019 academic year. Harper is a diligent student and spends much of her time on the road doing homework or studying for tests. She has a constant presence at study hall. Harper is on pace to graduate this spring and plans to seek her master’s degree beginning next fall.

Character

A recipient of Arizona softball’s prized Golden A Award, given annually to the player who best maintains the key pillars of being an exemplary Wildcat on and off the field, Jessie Harper has been a model student-athlete since the moment she stepped on campus in 2016. Harper’s mission is to inspire the next generation of athletes and she carries that out on every game day, finding a young fan after each game to stop and talk, answer questions, sign autographs or take pictures. Harper’s goal is to continue to grow the sport of softball and female athletics as a whole. She hopes to one day work with these players as a collegiate softball coach, attempting to break in as one of the few female head coaches in the country. Those leadership qualities also show on the Arizona team, where she is a constant source of knowledge and experience to the younger players.

Community

Harper uses her platform to connect with the younger generation in many ways and is very active in the community, both in Tucson as well as back at her home in Southern California during the summer. Harper is constantly working to break the stigma that females are not as good as males. To get her message out, Harper speaks to as many younger athletes as possible by reaching out to teams, working camps, and responding to younger fans in an attempt to help them reach the next level. Harper is also very active in many team-wide community initiatives, including cleaning up under-privileged schools in the area and helping at local charity organizations. This season, the Wildcats “adopted” a three-year-old girl, Abi Rose, who has a rare pediatric cancer. Abi is often at the Wildcats’ practices and hosts the team at her house for dinners and parties.

Competition

Harper has asserted herself as one of the best players in the nation in her career, twice earning All-America honors. Harper led the NCAA with 29 home runs a season ago, giving her 66 home runs for her career, 26 home runs shy of the Pac-12 and Arizona career home run record and 29 shy of the NCAA mark. Harper has been named First-Team All-Conference and First-Team All-Region all three years at Arizona. In addition to her offensive prowess, Harper excels defensively at shortstop as well. Last season, she was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team. The power-hitting shortstop has finished first or second in the Pac-12 in home runs all three seasons at Arizona, all while hitting .336 and slugging a ridiculous .750 for her career. She enters her senior year with 177 career RBI, 53 shy of joining the UA career top 10.