Softball Announces 2021 Signing Class
Carolina welcomes five newcomers from across the country
COLUMBIA, S.C. —- South Carolina softball and head coach Beverly Smith proudly announced five future Gamecocks signed their national letters of intent Wednesday. Natalie Heath, Marissa Gonzalez, Emma Sellers, Olivia Cook and Giulia Desiderio all signed their NLI and are set to join the Gamecocks next year.
“Gamecocks softball fans, this 2021 signing class is something we can get excited about during this time,” Smith said. “The 2021 class features five talented student-athletes who notably add power at the plate and the versatility and athleticism to play multiple positions. Each athlete comes from a premiere travel ball organization where they have all trained and competed at an elite level.
“Gamecock softball is gaining the all-around student athlete with the strength of character that we seek in the recruiting process. They come from supportive families that will be a great addition to Gamecock Nation. We’re extremely excited about this class and can’t wait to have them in Columbia next year.”
According to Extra Inning Softball, South Carolina softball’s 2021 signing class is the 22nd best in NCAA Division I Softball.
OLIVIA COOK (R/R) – T63 (Extra Inning Softball)
Daughter Chuck Cook, Susan Alexander and Jeff Alexander… From Sharpsburg, Ga… Born in Atlanta, Ga… Picked Carolina over Auburn and College of Charleston… Plans to major in retail management.
“I fell in love with it,” Cook said on her decision to pick South Carolina. “I love the coaches, the softball program and the campus!”
Cook shined at East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg, Ga… Lettered all four years on her way to being selected to the All-Region Team in 2019 and an honorable mention in 2018.
Also, an FCA Leader in 2019 and 2020, and attended the Chick Fil A Leadership Academy in 2018.
Ranked as the 49th-best infield in the class of 2021 by Extra Inning Softball.
EMMA SELLERS (R/R) – T25 (Extra Inning Softball)
Daughter of Shannon and Michael Sellers… Sister to Jacob Sellers… From Lakewood, Calif… Born in Long Beach, Calif… Picked Carolina over Oregon State and Minnesota… Plans to major in business real estate.
“When I first stepped on campus at my visit, I felt at home and could see myself as a part of the Gamecock softball program,” Sellers said on her decision to pick South Carolina.
Sellers stood out at Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, Calif… Lettered all four years… Shined in the classroom, as well, having been awarded the Scholar Athletic Award in 2018 and 2019 and was selected to the 2019 Sunset Conference All-Academic Team… Also named to the 2019 Sunset League First Team and won the 2018 and 2019 Athletic Award alongside the 2019 Griffin Award.
Ranked as the 21st-best infielder in the 2021 class by Extra Inning Softball.
MARISSA GONZALEZ (R/R) – 139 (Extra Inning Softball)
Daughter of Jennifer and Dan Gonzalez… Sister to Kristine, Jessica, Sarah and Jocelynn Gonzalez… Her sister, Sarah, plays softball at Bowling Green State and will enter 2020 as a redshirt junior… Her sister, Jessica, lettered four years at Dixie State University and was named the PAC West Freshman of the Year in 2016 after hitting .393 with six home runs and 37 RBI… From Kingsburg, Calif… Born in Stockton, Calif… Picked Carolina over Nebraska… Plans to major in exercise science.
“I fell in love with the school when I first stepped on the campus,” Gonzalez said on her choice to pick South Carolina. “I love the coaching staff and how they support the players.”
Gonzalez shined at Kingsburg High School in Kingsburg, Calif… Lettered all four years… Was named her team’s MVP in 2018 and 2019 and the Central Sequoia League MVP in 2019… Also named the California High Sports Medium School All-State First-Team Catcher… Never hit below .394… Showed plenty of power with 11 home runs in 2019.
Ranked as the 61st-best catcher in the 2021 class by Extra Inning Softball.
NATALIE HEATH (R/R) – T32 (Extra Inning Softball)
Daughter of Rhonda and JD Heath… Sister to Emily Heath… From Sharpsburg, Ga… Born in Austell, Ga… Picked Carolina over Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State and UCLA… Plans to major in sports medicine.
“It feels like home and the coaches are amazing,” Heath said on her decision to pick South Carolina.
Heath stood out at Northgate High School in Newman, Ga… Lettered all four years… Notably hit .432 with 38 RBI her sophomore year… Followed it up with 30 RBI her junior year… Been selected to the first team for the All-County, All-Region and All-State squads… Also lettered in basketball, soccer and was the county’s shotput champion.
Ranked as the 27th-best infielder in the 2021 class by Extra Inning Softball.
GIULIA DESIDERIO (R/R) – T37 (Extra Inning Softball)
Daughter of Danielle and Joe Desiderio… Sister to Joey Desiderio… From Hudson, Fla… Born in Faldo, Ct… Picked Carolina over FAU… Plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology.
“I wanted to play at the highest level,” Desiderio said on her decision to pick South Carolina. “The campus and facilities are nice. I loved the coaches and atmosphere.”
Desiderio shined at River Ridge High School in Hudson, Fla… Lettered all four years… Selected to the Sunshine Athletic All-Conference First-Team… Lettered two years in volleyball and four years in soccer… Also earned Sunshine Athletic All-Conference First-Team honors in soccer.
Ranked as the 18th-best catcher in the 2021 class by Extra Inning Softball.
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