Former Washburn University softball player trades in uniform for another

TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) -- In 2017 Erica Harper had the longest hitting streak on Washburn University’s varsity softball team with an 11 game streak.

“I played right and then I also batted. Um…but then kind of as the season progressed it kind of turned into a designated hitting spot,” Harper said.

Some of her best memories come from right here on this field.

“This is by far one of my favorite places to play. You know I played in junior college and Emporia State and then finished here at Washburn and there’s just no place like it,” she explained.

However, just a few years later, Harper traded in her softball uniform for a different one. After graduating from the police academy she is now a patrol officer at her alma mater.

“I thought it was a kind of good idea to kind of get my feet wet. And I didn’t see a better place to do that than some place that I loved and want to give back to,” she said.

She spends most of her days driving around campus.

“Normally I do once around the campus. And then we’ll start to go in buildings and different things like that you know. And we’ll walk through the dorms and talk to people. And we’ll go in all the buildings,” Harper explained.

She now walks the same paths she once did as a student, only this time making sure it’s safe.

“It’s kind of odd because if you would have asked me in 2016 if I was going to be working at Washburn I would have said ‘no probably not’ would have been my answer.” She said.

Harper always finds a way to connect with students.

“I smile. Might give them a wave. Might say he how are you doing. You know that kind of thing. Or try to strike a conversation. It definitely starts with a smile first, and then you know kind of builds from there,” she said.

She said that is the best part of her job, especially as a former Ichabod.

“It’s definitely kind of like a reflection on the mirror sometimes to see the students and then the softball players of course. I go out there and I stop for practices and talk to them,” Harper added.

Harper also served as an assistant student coach for the University’s softball team after her playing career.