LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Clemson had plenty to be excited about on Friday after it secured a birth in its first ACC Softball Championship Game.
The top-seeded Tigers bested No. 4 seed Virginia Tech 2-0 behind a shutdown performance by Valerie Cagle in the circle.
Most of this young Clemson team has never experienced postseason softball until this week and now they are set to play for the ACC Tournament Championship after winning the ACC regular season title last weekend.
Head coach John Rittman had never coached in a conference tournament before this season despite an illustrious career at Stanford, due to fact the Pac-12 did not have a tournament during his time out west.
But Rittman showed his excitement and how proud he was of his team for the opportunity to play in Saturday’s title game.
“I’m so proud of our coaches, team and staff. Everybody is so proud of the way we played and competed all year long,” he said after Friday’s game. “We are a fun team to watch and I’m just excited to represent Clemson for the ACC Championship tomorrow.”
Cagle was homeschooled growing up, but she has plenty of tournament experience from her travel ball career.
However, Cagle said travel ball doesn’t even compare to the atmosphere and competition at this year’s ACC Tournament.
“It’s definitely a completely different world, but with all the preparation and games we have played this year we are ready,” she said.
This year’s tournament has been a battle in nearly every game, six of the eight games played have been decided by two runs or less.
No. 3 seed Duke put up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh Friday afternoon to stun No. 2 seed Florida State 4-3 and earn the bid to play Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
The win sets up a matchup between the ACC’s two newest programs in the title game, the winner would claim its first ACC Championship Game trophy.
Clemson and Duke split a four game series earlier this season at McWhorter Stadium in Clemson.
The Tigers take the field at noon in the title game against the Blue Devils at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
—Photo courtesy of ACC Communications
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