Two transfers available to play in 2017, one will sit out due to SEC transfer rules
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina added three more players to its roster for 2017, boosting the roster to 21 players for the upcoming year.
Joining the Gamecocks for 2017 are two former Big Ten award winners, sophomore Lauren Stewart and junior Alyssa VanDerveer. Junior Morgan Walters, a former Missouri player, has also been added to the Gamecocks’ roster. Stewart and VanDerveer will be eligible immediately, while Walters will sit out 2017 due to Southeastern Conference transfer rules.
Stewart twice earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades for the Boilermakers as a freshman while she led the team in runs (34) and doubles (10). Starting all 55 games at Purdue in the outfield, she also finished second on the team in hits (48), batting average (.306), on-base percentage (.381), walks (17) and stolen bases (18). Stewart was a standout at Cambridge High School in Alpharetta, Ga., twice earning her region’s player of the year award while garnering four first-team all-region honors.
VanDerveer, a catcher, comes from Penn State, where she ranks fifth in career home runs with 24. She has two top-five positions in the single-season home run charts, while she set a school record last year with 50 RBI. The 2016 first-team All-Big Ten catcher ranked second among Nittany Lions with her .362 batting average, .437 on-base percentage and .601 slugging percentage. A former two-time all-state performer at Hillsborough High school in New Jersey, VanDerveer had 13 home runs and 50 RBI as a senior.
A two-time former Georgia Player of the Year, Walters earned the second of those awards as a senior at Buford High, which plays at the AAA level. She tallied 42 home runs in four years of high school, three at Buford and one at Mount Pisgah Christian, where she earned GHSA Class A Private School Player of the Year honors. Walters appeared in nearly 70 games during her time with the Tigers, posting three home runs in 81 at bats.
Both VanDerveer and Walters have two years of eligibility left, while Stewart has three.
The Gamecocks have played in four-consecutive NCAA Tournaments under head coach Beverly Smith, the 19th appearance in the program’s storied history.