No one knows just how special Clemson softball's inaugural season could've been in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic shut all sports down with the Tigers at 19-8 overall and 5-1 in ACC play.
They've made up for that in 2021. Head coach John Rittman's squad won three games in their weekend series at Syracuse, and the Tigers captured the ACC's regular-season championship in just the second year of the program.
Sine last year got cut short, they became the first team in Clemson history to win a regular-season conference title in the first season they could compete for one.
Clemson's rare accomplishment came on the heels of a 19-2 win Sunday in which Alia Logoleo recorded 10 RBIs, the most in program history and the most in a single game in the NCAA this season.
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Rittman and the Tigers turn their attention to the ACC tournament where their No. 1 seed has them playing the winner of the No. 8-9 game at 11 a.m. in Louisville.
Before looking ahead to this week, here are five stories from last week you might've missed:
Here are five storylines for this week to keep an eye on:
1. Rebound or bust?: Clemson baseball took one on the chin over the weekend, losing all three games in the ACC road series to Georgia Tech. The Tigers, who had won seven consecutive contests going in, had worked their way back into NCAA tournament conversation. But after a pair of one-run losses over the weekend, that's in doubt. Now they turn their attention to the make-up rivalry game against South Carolina before a road series at FSU. This week could determine Clemson's postseason fate.
2. Recruiting heats up: Clemson has already been quite busy on the recruiting trail, but that's about to really take off. In less than three weeks, schools can host prospects on campus for the first time in over a year because of the pandemic. The Tigers are lining up visits and preparing to make offers. Plus, summer camp is right around the corner. Follow our recruiting analyst Jason Priester for all the latest news and updates, including an upcoming look at a 2022 cornerback.
3. Olympic sports: While both the men's and women's soccer teams ended in the NCAA tournament last week, others get their chances for trophies. Whether or not softball makes a deep run in the ACC tourney this week or not, the Tigers will be headed to the NCAA tournament, which begins May 21. Meanwhile, women's golf begins its NCAA run Monday in the Columbus Regional.
4. Coaching search: Clemson announced late last week that volleyball head coach Michaela Franklin and the school mutually parted ways. The Tigers went 12-10 overall and 6-9 in 2021 and 49-68 overall in four seasons under Franklin. Jackie Simpson-Kirr will serve as the interim coach while Clemson looks for a full-time replacement.
5. Death Valley Daily: Don't forget about our new shows Monday-Friday. We tackle all the big news and stories coming out of Clemson. Please like, subscribe and share our Youtube page and let us know what you think or ask us questions for future shows.
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