LAFAYETTE — Karly Heath, who hit .315 and went 8-0 as a pitcher at South Carolina in 2019, is transferring to UL Lafayette for the 2021 softball season.
Heath is the third Division I transfer of the offseason, Ragin’ Cajuns head coach Gerry Glasco said Tuesday in a prepared statement.
Heath, a native of North Augusta, South Carolina, was an outfielder and pitcher for the Gamecocks in her two-year stay in Columbia, South Caorlina.
“Karly is one of those rare athletes who possess the ability to win games not only in the circle, but with her offensive abilities that include speed on the base path and power from the left side,”Glasco said. “Her speed and size, to go along with a strong arm, makes her a very capable outfielder as well. She adds a multitude of depth and talent to our roster.”
She is expected to have three seasons of eligibility remaining once she suits up for the Ragin’ Cajuns starting in 2021, as the NCAA granted an extra year of college eligibility to all spring sports participants due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Other Division I transfers this offseason are Jade Gortarez from Arizona State and Vanessa Foreman from Arizona. Junior college All-American Frankie Izard (Lake Land College) and Georgia high school standout Brinson Rogers (Statesboro HS) also have signed with the Cajuns.
As a freshman in 2019, Heath started 21 games and appeared in 44 as an outfielder and hit .315 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. She also appeared in 15 games as a pitcher, starting 11, and went 8-0 record with a 2.48 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .179 batting average and surrendering only nine extra-base hits in 48 innings.
Heath was SEC Freshman of the Week on April 23, 2019.
In 2020, Heath went 5-0 in the pitching circle to keep her collegiate mark unscathed at 13-0.
Heath’s high school honors include All-Region five times, All-State three times, region Player of the Year three times, statewide Player of the Year and the Class 4A Player of the Year. She also was recognized as the Augusta Chronicle and Aiken Standard Softball Player of the Year four straight years and the Augusta Sports Council Player of the Year.
The left-handed hitter batted .517 with 11 home runs as a senior at North Augusta and went 14-1 with 145 strikeouts in the circle.
Heath lettered in softball six years and was a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club, Buddy Club, Teacher Cadet and Homecoming Court.
Competing for Georgia Impact, she faced fellow incoming transfer Vanessa Foreman at the 2018 Premier Girls Fastpitch 18-under National Championship.
“Karly has competed at the elite level of travel ball, helping lead the Georgia Impact organization to the coveted PGF 18-under national championship in 2018,” Glasco said. “During the stretch of that championship run she proved to be a tremendous hitter under pressure.
“She shares our program’s desire to compete in the WCWS and compete for a national championship.”