Clemson softball won the regular season ACC title on Sunday at Syracuse but the team is not finished with its championship quest.
Now the Tigers are set travel to Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday to play in the ACC Softball Tournament.
Eleventh-ranked Clemson enters the tournament as the top seed but hopes to continue its hot streak as it enters postseason play.
Head coach John Rittman stressed the importance of approaching the tournament with the right mindset and not looking ahead to the next game in the single-elimination tournament.
“The ACC Tournament is a postseason tournament, and you are playing for a championship obviously. We won the regular season championship,” Rittman said on Sunday. “As a coach the biggest thing we have to do in the postseason is not build it to be something bigger than it is.”
The players took advantage of a day off on Monday before a brief workout on Tuesday so the coaching staff could prepare for the upcoming tournament.
Rittman, who was named ACC Softball Coach of the Year on Tuesday, wants his young team to keep things simple and just focus on playing softball.
“We have to play the game of softball. If we keep that mindset and keep it simple, we are going to go out and play well,” he said. “It’s single elimination, you go play hard and I know it’s cliché, but you take it one day at a time.”
Clemson will undoubtedly qualify for the NCAA Tournament after an exceptional regular season where it finished 40-5 overall and 29-5 in the ACC. But, the team has a lot to play for in the postseason despite its unprecedented success in its first full season.
“We know we will be in the NCAA Tournament, but we want to continue to grow and play good so that’s going to be our mindset to go win the next game,” Rittman said.
Clemson plays the winner of Wednesday’s contest between Syracuse and Georgia Tech at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville.