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By David Sharp
Highland All State softball player Emma Harshberger has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball for Cornell University at Ithica, New York. Harshberger inked her commitment at the Highland High School Commons on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Emma Harshberger is a four year starting softball player for Highland. She pitched and played infield for the Lady Cougar 27-3 softball team this season. Harshberger established three new individual records for hits with 61, RBI’s with 44, batting average at .568 and on base percentage with .573 for the season.
Harshberger set new individual career records in hits with 169. Career batting average at .480 and career on base percentage at .521.
By unofficial count, Emma Harshberger became the sixth Cougar to sign a National Letter of Intent to play with an NCAA Division I school. She also became the first Highland student/ Athlete to sign with an Ivy League School.
“Statistics wise, awards wise, she was awesome,” Highland head softball coach Paul Scifres said. “More importantly she was a very coachable kid. A great teammate. Always concerned about others and making sure she was doing whatever she could to help her teammates.”
“She gave her all every opportunity she had,” Paul Scifres said of Emma Harshberger. “She has a great work ethic. She always wanted to get better. The thing I will remember is she barrelled up balls consistently. She was a dangerous hitter her whole career.”
Emma Harshberger plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Cornell. “I’m just proud to leave a mark on my school,” Emma Harshberger told the Edina Sentinel and Lewis County Star.
“I’m thankful I have had the small school culture here,” Emma Harshberger said. “My teachers. The staff here that is looking out for me.” Harshberger said she has not set a career goal at this time.
She did tell assembled media that she became interested in building things at Highland’s gifted student program several years ago. “I just want to make a difference,” Emma Harshberger said.
“To problem solve and use my knowledge of physics and science. Be creative and make the world a better place.” Emma Harshberger told the Edina Sentinel that she committed very soon after her junior season.
“I just felt at home there,” Harshberger said. “There didn’t need to be another option. I Just absolutely loved it there.”
Emma Harshberger told the Edina Sentinel that Cornell softball planned to employ her in a pitching and utility role. “I was a little nervous. It is nice to know that all these people want to see me succeed and know that they are proud of me,” the Cougar senior said after signing before a large group of media and supporters at the signing ceremony.