The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute softball player was named Softball Pitcher of the Week

COURTESY PHOTO - Sarah Harms was named the Liberty League Softball Pitcher of the Week for her work on the RPI team. In sunny Florida, a former denizen of Wilsonville was recognized for her hard work. Former Wildcats' softball player Sarah Harms was awarded the Liberty League's Softball Pitcher of the Week on March 13. Harms currently attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a Division III school in the Liberty League.

RPI's softball team currently has the best record of the league, sitting at 8-4 after a week of spring training and preseason games in Florida. Harms, a senior, has played four years on the school's softball team, and was pleased to receive the distinction.

"I wasn't really expecting it," Harms said. "I was just playing some softball and then that's what came out of it. But it's really cool to be recognized for all the work that goes on behind the scenes because it's not just what we do on the field, it's all the days of practice, weightlifting, conditioning, and all of that that goes on behind the scenes."

Harms and the Rensselaer Engineers had two of regular season games postponed due to nor'easters and poor weather. They relished the opportunity to get out of the cold northeast climate and play ball in the sunny climes of Florida.

"We look forward to it all winter long because we have feet of snow here in Troy," Harms said. "Then we get to go down to 85 degrees. It's a lot easier to play because it's warmer and our bodies can warm up easier and play better when it's nicer outside. It was really exciting because we had been cooped up inside all winter long and then we were finally able to get some cleats on the dirt and actually play real teams and be able to do that."

Harms pitched 23 innings last week when she received the distinction, giving up 14 runs in the six game stretch. RPI went 5-1 during that time. Looking into the future, Harms is confident that the time spent in Florida will pay dividends in the regular season.

"I think we really found ourselves and found the RPI softball team that I know we are down there," Harms said. "We really ended on a high note, beating some tough teams and winning some games. I think we're going to take that into the season. I feel really confident that we're going to do really well this season."

Harms chose to attend RPI to meld athletics and academics. While competing on the school softball team, Harms has been studying civil engineering. In the future, Harms hopes to pursue an even closer amalgam of her two interests.

"I have an internship this summer for a company called Geiger Engineers and they build sports facilities," Harms said. "It's really interesting, how I can take what I love to do with sports and softball and apply it to my profession. I'm going to be able to work with structures and build buildings, stadiums, and canopies for sports stadiums which will be really exciting."

While the future looms professionally and athletically, Harms is simply enjoying the present. After all, when you train and compete with a group of people for extended periods of time, it's only natural to make the most of your time.

"It's really hard to not love everyone," Harms said. "They're your best friends when you're in season because you're with them all day long for days in a row. Especially when we went to Florida, we all lived in the same hotel rooms together and stuff. So basically it's just waking up, going to school but then at the end of the day you're playing softball with your best friends. It's so much fun, and there's no reason keeping us there besides the fun of it."

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