In just the program’s second year, its first full season, the Clemson softball team continues to make history.
After winning an ACC Regular Season Championship last week and then advancing to the ACC Tournament Finals on Saturday, the Tigers learned Sunday night they will officially play in an NCAA Regional for the first time.
Clemson (42-6) will be the No. 2 seed in the Tuscaloosa Regional, which is hosted by No. 3 overall seed Alabama (45-7) of the SEC. The Tigers will will play No. 3 seed Troy (36-15) in the first game, which will be on Friday. Alabama will play Alabama St. (19-27), who is the No. 4 seed in the regional.
“Certainly, playing teams like Duke, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech is one thing because we know each other,” Clemson head coach John Rittman said. “Now we will be playing some opponents we don’t know too much about and will have some homework to do before regionals.”
Most of Clemson’s young team has not experienced an NCAA Regional. The only Tiger to participate in the tournament is Ansley Gilstrap who played in a regional before her time in Clemson at USC Upstate when the Spartans traveled to Auburn, Ala., for a regional.
Rittman is still pinching himself after everything the Tigers have done this season and is glad there is still plenty to play for in the upcoming tournament.
“I am just so proud of everybody in our program to be in the position we are in just in year two is unheard of,” he said. “To even be talking about championships at this point is just crazy. I know we are going to bounce back and learn from this experience and be better for it.”
—Alex Dodd contributed to this story
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