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 super 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.
Coach: Kristy Norton (10th season at UNCW and overall)
Record: 32-13 (11-8 Colonial Athletic Association)
Most recent postseason appearance: N/A
The skinny: Making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, UNC Wilmington is new to all of this. The Seahawks finished fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association during the regular season before making a surprise run to the first CAA tournament title in program history. After going 3-0 last week, Wilmington is now tied for the third-most wins in a single season in program history and brings a four-game winning streak into regional play. The Seahawks, an aggressive team with nearly twice as many stolen bases (110) as the CAA’s next-closest team (Elon, 65), have already played two games against ACC competition this season, falling to North Carolina and North Carolina State by a combined three runs. Friday’s game will be the first-ever meeting between Wilmington and Clemson.
Names to know: Janel Gamache (team-high .357 average, 20 extra-base hits, seven HRs), Tayler Vitola (.333, 26 stolen bases), Anna Knox (20 stolen bases), Emily Winstead (1.66 earned run average in 26 appearances, .162 opponents’ batting average)
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