Clemson’s softball team is set to host its first-ever NCAA Tournament regional, which will include three other teams.
The winner of the double-elimination tournament will advance to a best-of-three super regional against the winner of the Stillwater Regional. So what does the Tigers’ competition look like?
The Clemson Insider is taking a look at the rest of the regional field before the games start Friday at McWhorter Stadium. Clemson, the regional’s top seed, will take on No. 4 seed UNC Wilmington at noon followed by a matchup between No. 2 seed Auburn and No. 3 seed Louisiana.
An interactive tournament bracket can be found here.
Coach: Mickey Dean (fifth season at Auburn; 16th overall)
Record: 39-15 (11-13 SEC)
Most recent postseason appearance: 2021 Tallahassee Regional
The skinny: Auburn finished 10th in the SEC during the regular season, cooling off after a hot start. The Tigers won 24 of their first 25 games before dropping four of their final six SEC series. Auburn has lost five straight games entering regional play, but the Tigers rank in the top 5 in the SEC in hitting (.303 team average) and pitching (2.64 earned run average). It’s been a struggle away from home, though, for the Tigers, who are 12-11 in games played outside of Auburn, including just a 7-9 mark in true road games. Power-hitting first baseman Bri Ellis, the SEC’s Freshman of the Year, is as dangerous as any player in this regional.
Names to know: Ellis (.300 average, 18 HRs, 45 RBIs), Carlee McCondichie (.346; team-high 44 hits), Makayla Packer (.328; 18 of 21 on stolen-base attempts), Maddie Penta (1.77 ERA in 40 appearances; 258 strikeouts in 182 innings)
Photo courtesy of Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel/USA Today Network
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