Georgia Highlands College in Rome will dive head-first into the world of junior college softball in the spring of 2014, and LaFayette's Jerrica Littlejohn is set to take the plunge as well.
Littlejohn, a four-year starter for the Lady Ramblers, signed a letter of intent to join the Lady Chargers program in front of family and friends at LHS last week.
"I'm excited and this means a lot to me," she said. "It's really cool to be one of the ones starting this new program, and it's cool to know I'll always be a part of that first team picture."
A four-year letterman with LaFayette, Littlejohn was a 7-AAAA All-Region selection in 2010 and 2011, and an All-Subregion pick in 2012. She was twice named to the Walker County Dream Team.
"She's been really consistent for us the last four years and we've really counted on her for leadership," LaFayette head coach Glen Woodard said. "She finished her career batting probably somewhere between .320 and .330, and as a pitcher, she kept us in and helped us win a lot of ball games we probably should have lost. We're going to miss her on and off the field and in the classroom."
Littlejohn, who has been playing softball since the age of four, said she first heard about Georgia Highlands softball through her summer ball coach, and that the Lady Chargers coaches began to actively recruit her from there.
"She might be small, but she can bring the heat, that's for sure," said GHC pitching coach Bobbie Hicks. "She's also got good speed as a slap hitter and she's smart. We're really excited to add her to our team and our pitching staff."
Woodard, a former college softball coach himself, said Littlejohn has room to grow as a college player.
"She's got a great fastball, a good change-up, and a good curveball," he said. "As she gets faster and better, she's going to be a really good player for Georgia Highlands. She should fit right in, on and off the field, because she's just a great girl."
Littlejohn also played soccer at LaFayette and was on the Homecoming Court her sophomore, junior and senior years. A four-year member of the school's Beta Club, she will graduate in May with honors as a member of the top 10 percent of her class.
"I'm going to miss all the girls I played with here," she added. "We're all such good friends and we did a lot fun stuff together over the years."
Littlejohn hopes to study nursing or occupational therapy.
Chattooga High's Karlie Jarrett and Sierra Cagle will also be members of the Lady Chargers' inaugural squad.