Clemson softball has reached a monumental milestone in the history of its program, advancing to the Super Regionals of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. With game one against No. 7-seed Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. slated for Thursday, May 26, the Tigers have a lot to look forward to as first pitch looms closer.
“Definitely really excited to be apart of Super Regionals, especially here in Stillwater,” head coach John Rittman said on Wednesday. “Very proud of our team and the effort that it’s taken to get this far in the NCAA tournament. We’ve had a great year; we’ve played a really tough schedule to prepare us for this moment and looking forward to a great series against a great Oklahoma State team.”
For a team that is in just its second full season, Clemson’s softball program has already seen a high level of success, highlighted by an ACC regular season championship in 2021, reaching the NCAA regionals two years in a row, hosting the first NCAA regional at McWhorter Stadium, two 40-win seasons, and now reaching the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time ever – something head coach John Rittman couldn’t have dreamed up any other way.
“There are times when we have to pinch ourselves and make sure this is really happening,” Rittman said. “Certainly no one could predict success as quick as we’ve had it, but we’ve worked really hard, we have a great group of players, a great culture, and a lot of credit goes to our team. They’ve just really worked hard and believed. We’re here and excited about it.”
For junior Alia Logoleo, the opportunity to play in games like these is exactly what drew her to Clemson in the first place. And while she didn’t think their success would come so quick, Logoleo is thankful that she chose to become a Tiger just three short years ago.
“This is what I came to college to do,” Logoleo said. “I was recruited by coach Rittman, and I trusted him to build this program and make it what it is today. I didn’t think it would be this fast, but this is definitely what I came here for, these are the games I wanted to play.”
With another first on the line in what could be the program’s first Women’s College World Series berth, Rittman is confident that his team will continue to compete and be successful at the highest level when it matters most.
“We’ve watched Oklahoma State, obviously a lot of exposure in our sport, so we’ve been able to watch on TV and certainly paid close attention to their series with Florida State because we were scouting Florida State at the time,” Rittman said. “They are a well-coached team, great pitching depth, play outstanding defense, and they hit the ball well. I think they’re a lot like us where offensively they struggled a little bit at times during the year, but they’re peaking at the right time.”
The tenth-seeded Tigers (42-15) look to keep their postseason journey alive as they take on the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (44-12) in game one of the three-game series on Thursday, May 26, at Cowgirl Stadium. First pitch is set for 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.