After a bit of a late season slide, Clemson softball still found itself as a top 16 seed and hosting a regional for the second year in a row. Being the 16th seed means the winner of the Tigers’ regional faces the winner of the Norman, Oklahoma regional, hosted by the juggernaut Sooners. While that is certainly a daunting task for a Clemson team looking to make it’s Women’s College World Series debut, the Tigers can’t get caught looking ahead with a regional this talented.
The #2 seed in the regional is the Auburn Tigers, better known as Clemson’s lakeless cousin thay enjoys white BBQ sauce (which is delicious). I don’t know for sure, but rumor has it at the NCAA offices there is a sign reading “WHEN IN DOUBT, PAIR CLEMSON AND AUBURN IN THE POSTSEASON.” As many times as we’ve faced Auburn in various postseason games, not to mention the regular season football matchups over the last decade, I feel like our rivalry with Auburn is stronger than some of our series against ACC competition. Auburn comes in at 40-17 on the year, ranked #17 in the latest D1 Softball poll, and third in the SEC. Basically, it came down to Clemson and Auburn for the final regional host spot. Maybe our lake helped sway us to get the spot. Anyway, this team is not one to take likely, and I’ve seen some chatter on social media about Auburn being the favorite in this regional.
At the third seed is the Cal State Fullerton Titans. If you’re a college baseball fan, you are almost certainly familiar with CSUF’s baseball program, who have won four baseball national titles and have made numerous appearances in Omaha. The softball Titans don’t have quite the extensive history as baseball, but their history isn’t anything to sneeze at. CSUF won the softball natty in 1986 and has 6 appearances in the WCWS, however, the Titans haven’t made the super regionals since 2007, so you know they’re hungry for a regional win. CSUF is 33-19 and second in the Big West. They’re a team that would be a solid two seed if they were coming from a different conference.
Rounding out the regional is the 4th seed, the SoCon Champions, UNC Greensboro. UNCG is 37-20 on the year and knocked off Samford in the SoCon Championship game to clinch an automatic bid in the NCAA Tourney. This is definitely a 4 seed who could steal some games in the regional.
It all get’s going Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM on ESPNU as Clemson faces UNCG (the baseball team plays at 6pm). That game will be followed by Auburn and CSUF in the night cap. Saturday features three games, and Sunday will have at least one championship game, with the possibility of a 7th game Sunday afternoon if necessary.
Friday and Sunday looks like beautiful days for softball, but of course, Saturday has a chance for rain in the afternoon, so as always, make sure to check online for potential schedule changes.
Editor’s Note: This website does not endorse white BBQ sauce!