« Softball 2021

Jessie Harper

School

Arizona

Position
Short Stop

Classroom

Harper has excelled in the classroom during her time at Arizona, graduating this past spring with a 3.74 GPA in her sociology major. She is currently in her master’s program in educational leadership.

In 2020, Harper was named a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, becoming the eighth Academic All-American in school history. During her career, she has earned two CoSIDA Academic All-District awards and has been a member of the Pac-12 All-Academic team every year she has been eligible. Harper, who had a 4.0 GPA in each of her final six semesters of her undergraduate program, was a member of the UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Dean’s List and was the recipient of the college’s Highest Academic Distinction.

She is a diligent student and spends much of her time on the road doing homework or studying for tests. Harper has a constant presence at study hall.

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, Harper has been a model student-athlete since the moment she stepped on campus in 2016.

Her 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. She is constantly working to break the stigma that females are not as good as males. To get her message out, she 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. She enters the 2021 season with 76 career home runs, the most of any active player in the country, already tied for fifth in Arizona history, seventh in Pac-12 history and 12th in NCAA history. With 20 home runs this season, Harper would be the new NCAA all-time leader in career homers. The power-hitting shortstop has led the Pac-12 in homers in both 2019 (29) and the COVID-shortened 2020 season (10) and has finished first or second in all four seasons. Her 29 homers in 2019 led the NCAA.

The three-time all-Pac-12 and All-Region performer was ranked #5 by Softball America in its 2020 Postseason Top 100 Players. She is not just a power hitter, either; Harper is a Pac-12 all-defensive shortstop and won the Arizona softball triple crown, leading UA in average (.395), homers (10) and RBI (29) in 2020.