After another amazing season in the young life of the Clemson softball program, the Tigers found themselves falling just short of the College World Series, losing to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, just 59 miles away from where the World Series will happen this week in Oklahoma City. Game one was an epic pitcher’s duel between Millie Thompson and OSU’s Kelly Maxwell. The two teams were knotted at 0-0 going to the bottom of the fifth when the Cowgirls manufactured two runs. That was all they needed, and Oklahoma State took game one 2-0.
Game two started off rough for the Tigers. A disastrous second inning that featured three errors from shortstop Alia Logoleo allowed the Cowgirls to take a 3-0 lead. Clemson got a run back in the third with a Mckenzie Clark homer. The Tigers had multiple scoring opportunities, but couldn’t push any more runners across and fell 5-1, losing the series in front of a raucous crowd in Stillwater.
But through it all, the Tigers kept their upbeat mood. The body language was always positive and the smiles were big throughout the game. As sad as it is to see this season end, one can’t help but marvel at how incredible this run has been. In three seasons, and only two full seasons, Clemson softball has risen to a top tier level. Maybe this fast track to success has our expectations too high, but it feels as though there is no reason to think Clemson won’t be taking the field in OKC in the next few seasons. The talent is there, the culture is great, and the fan support is second to none. Personally I’d love it if Clemson fans took a page from Oklahoma State supporters and built “party decks” behind the outfield wall of McWhorter Stadium, similar to what used to be outside of Doug Kingsmore in the pre-grandstand days. Regardless, softball was the hardest ticket to get in Tiger Town this year, and after this run I can only imagine it’ll get harder. So sure, the 2022 season may be ending. But the fun is just beginning.