UNC Softball program loses rising star to college softball powerhouse

The transfer portal has impacted the UNC softball program, as a rising star is leaving Chapel Hill for the SEC.
Notre Dame v North Carolina
Notre Dame v North Carolina / Peyton Williams/GettyImages

The offseason is in full-effect for the UNC softball program, as Megan Smith-Lyon will have some rather big void to fill in the everyday lineup.

After entering the transfer portal, Isabela Emerling has committed to the University of Oklahoma. She will join a Sooners team that has some rebuilding to do after posting a 59-8 record and a College World Series championship during the 2024 season.

If you're unfamiliar with the UNC softball program, this is a major loss for the Tar Heels. As a redshirt sophomore this past season, Emerling was arguably the most productive player in the lineup, as she put together some eye-popping stats both as a catcher and as an infielder.

Emerling started all 43 games she appeared in, as she led the team with 14 home runs. That mark is also the sixth most by a Tar Heel in a single-season in program history. The Martinez, California native also led the Tar Heels in OPS, slugging percentage and total bases while finishing second on the team in walks.

Her 53 runs batted in (also a team-high) is tied for the fifth-most in UNC softball history in a single season. She put together 13 multi-RBI outings and had 11 multi-hit games.


This is a big loss for the UNC softball program and a huge gain for the Oklahoma Sooners, as Emerling will continue her collegiate career in the SEC, where she hopes to lead the Sooners back to the College World Series finals in 2025.