COLLEGE BEAT: Southington’s Harvey having solid farewell tour with Maine softball

COLLEGE BEAT: Southington’s Harvey having solid farewell tour with Maine softball


ORONO, Maine — Southington’s Rachel Harvey is tearing it up for the Division I University of Maine softball team this spring.

As the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, the Black Bears’ starting catcher is batting at a .344 clip and has helped the team win 10 of its last 11 contests.

A 2013 Southington grad, Harvey was a four-year starter with the Blue Knights and was All-State and a state champ in her senior year.

Now 21, she has been a steady contributor during her four-year tenure in Orono. She started a combined 37 games in her freshman and sophomore years. She broke out last year as a starting outfielder, starting all 49 games, hitting .345. and earning a spot on the America East All-Conference second team.

She has continued that success as a senior. Harvey has returned to her natural position as catcher and has been a team leader.

“I’ve caught every game except one,” Harvey said this week. “It’s been a really awesome year. Our bats have come alive and we are doing really well. All of our hard work is paying off. It’s been sweet to be back behind the plate.”

Maine coach Mike Coutts said Harvey is having a phenomenal year.

“She gets big hits in every game,” Coutts said. “The other thing that goes unnoticed is that she has caught all but one game. She’s made herself into a really good player.

“She knows she’s a leader and is driven to be good. She’s a high achiever. As a senior, her teammates have looked to her for leadership. She is one of the big reasons we have won 10 of 11 games.”

The Black Bears are 13-18 overall. They are 7-1 in the America East and are riding a four-game winning streak into this weekend’s three-game set at Maryland-Baltimore County.

Coutts said Harvey is a calming influence behind the plate.

“She calls a great game,” the coach said. “She frames and blocks well. Her pitchers have 100 percent confidence in her. It makes it easy for them to pitch. She will get down and block a drop ball. She’s very calm if she needs to go out and talk to the pitcher. Pitchers like a catcher who is very calm.”

Coutts said Harvey is a force in box, routinely coming up clutch for the Black Bears.

“She’s one of the hardest workers we have and it has paid off,” Coutts said. “She’s the same all of the time, whether she’s 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. That’s huge in our game, where there is so much failure. It’s part of who she is. She has great parents. She’s a great player and great person and great academically. She’s good at whatever she does.”

Harvey has been solid in the classroom. A communication sciences and disorders/speech and language pathology major, she’s been recognized as a University of Maine Scholar-Athlete. She will be remaining Orono for grad school after recently being accepted into Maine’s Speech and Language Pathology program.

As for softball, Harvey said she will remain with the club in some capacity while she’s in grad school.

“It’s going to be weird not to be playing softball after playing for the last 17 years,” Harvey said. “Playing college softball has been awesome. It’s taught me a lot about time management with the bus trips. We will drive a whole day to get to the next game. I’ve learned a lot about time management and getting things done in a timely fashion. I wouldn’t be who I am right now without softball.”

Those bus rides are no joke. The University of Maine, located just north of Bangor, is the eastern extreme in America East. Every road trip is a long one. There is, Harvey notes, an upside.

“It helps us face adversity with a better attitude,” Harvey said as the Black Bears made their way to Baltimore on Thursday. “We are currently on a 13-hour bus ride right now, but making the best of it by stopping to play a game [Wednesday at Holy Cross in Worcester], staying at a hotel overnight, then finishing our trip up the next day. For other schools, traveling to us is a hassle. For us, traveling anywhere under 13 hours is a breeze.”

New York Giants

Sept. 10 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 18 Detroit, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m.

Oct. 8 Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Oct. 15 at Denver, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Oct. 29 BYE

Nov. 5 Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m.

Nov. 12 at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

Nov. 19 Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Nov. 23 at Washington, 8:30 p.m.

Dec. 3 at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.

Dec. 10 Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Dec. 17 Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Dec. 24 at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

Dec. 31 Washington, 1 p.m.

New York Jets

Sept. 10 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Sept. 17 at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Sept. 24 Miami, 1 p.m.

Oct. 1 Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Oct. 8 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Oct. 15 New England, 1 p.m.

Oct. 22 at Miami, 1 p.m.

Oct. 29 Atlanta, 1 p.m.

Nov. 2 Buffalo, 8:25 p.m.

Nov. 12 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Nov. 19 BYE

Nov. 26 Carolina, 1 p.m.

Dec. 3 Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Dec. 10 at Denver, 4:05 p.m.

Dec. 17 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Dec. 24 Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m.

Dec. 31 at New England, 1 p.m.


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