Hardworking Haefeli sees importance of leadership role

Junior outfielder Sara Haefeli admitted to being in some initial shock upon the realization that next season will be her last year as a member of the Pirates’ softball team.

“I couldn’t imagine coming to college and not playing sports,” she said.

Haefeli is in her third season at the Hall. She has 15 hits on the season, is currently sporting a .250 batting average on the year and leads the team in doubles. Earlier this season, she was named to the Big East Honor Roll.

Last season with the Hall, she recorded a career-high .239 batting average and tied a team record for most home runs in a game, homering twice against Saint Peters. For all of Haefeli’s success, she is looking to the future and life after softball and the new journeys that lie ahead.

Perhaps one thing that resonates most with Haefeli is her positivity-something she says has become a big part in her role as a veteran on this season’s struggling softball team.

“I try to be as positive as possible and be the best ‘me’ I can be,” she said. “I want to emphasize the little things and be supportive for my teammates.”

Off the field, Haefeli balances the demands of being a full-time student. She credits her work ethic for helping her balance the heavy workload of athlete and student.

“I’m hardworking, determined, I know when to get serious and when it’s time to get down to business,” she said.

It’s that same mentality that she believes will help her as she casts her sights beyond the Hall, embarking on a new perspective journey-law school.

“I want to be a sports agent,” she said. “I know how hard it is to get where they are-it makes me want to fight even harder for them.”

Being a sports agent is something she says will help her stay in sports and see things from a different perspective. Haefeli says she’s already begun looking thoroughly into the process and is keeping her options open as she mulls over what the future has in store for her.

Haefeli’s ambition to succeed comes as no surprise. In 2012 as a freshman she earned honors as a Big East Academic All-Star. She began as an undecided major, before ultimately deciding on a path to double-major in marketing and sports management, while minoring in English. It’s a tough academic regiment, and one that she credits the opportunities offered to student-athletes for helping her manage the challenges of being a student athlete.

“The academic advisers are really helpful,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how much time and effort has to be put into sports- sometimes 20-plus hours.”

A native of Montclair, N.J., she led her high school to the Essex County Tournament where they finished as State Tournament finalists in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011.

Neal McHale can be reached at neal.mchale@student.shu.edu.

Author: Neal McHale

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