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Clemson Softball roars to fast start and high rankings

The Tigers are 11-0 and have a top 5 ranking heading into the USF Tournament in Tampa.

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard - staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

To say the Clemson softball program, which is only in season 4 of playing, has been a success is an understatement. After a pandemic shortened 2020 season, 2021 saw the Tigers win the regular season ACC championship, fall just short to Duke in the ACC Tournament title game, and then make the NCAA tournament, where they lost to national seed Alabama twice in the Tuscaloosa regional. 2022 the Tigers went 42-17, hosted a regional, and fell in the Supers to Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

After last season, the goal for year 4 is obvious: Oklahoma City. The home of the Women’s College World Series. And so far, the Tigers have played like a team determined to complete that mission.

Clemson softball has ripped through their schedule to an 11-0 start. And this isn’t a cake walk schedule. The run includes two wins over top 15 Northwestern, including a 15-2 run rule win, two wins over Ohio State, including a 10-0 run rule win, and now a 7-1 dispatching of top 10 Georgia, a program that has consistently been in the upper echelon of collegiate softball.

Tiger softball continues to be a tough ticket. Fellow STS writer Jonathan Smith pointed out last weekend that the get in price on a ticket reseller’s site for softball was more than three times the price to get in an opening weekend Clemson baseball game.

If you haven’t gotten on the softball train yet, then what are you waiting for? Valerie Cagle continues to be a generational talent at both the plate and as a pitcher, hitting .556 and having an ERA of .77 with a record of 6-0 on the year. Millie Thompson also continues her dominance from the mound and her leadership of the club, and Alia Logoleo, Jojo Hyatt, McKenzie Clark, and the whole squad are so much fun to watch.

The Tigers will be in Tampa this weekend for the USF tourney. They get started Thursday with a game against the host Bulls. Friday, they’ll take on the University of Illinois-Chicago, Saturday will be a double header with a 9 AM game against Michigan State, and then another game shortly after against the #11 Tennessee Volunteers. The Tigers will close out their trip to Tampa Sunday morning with another matchup against those Michigan State Spartans. The USF and Tennessee games will be broadcasted on the ESPN app, and their will be audio streaming on ClemsonTigers dot com for the other games.