In a historical and unprecedented turn of events, COVID-19 has suspended all games, tournaments, practices and any formal gatherings for all ACC teams until further notice. This likely ended the Clemson softball team’s inaugural season early and abruptly.
Clemson softball stopped play with a record of 19-8. They were 5-1 in conference play and 14-2 at home, giving their home crowds an exciting experience.
Marissa Guimbarda led the team in home runs (11) and had one of the highest batting averages (.355). Valerie Cagle ended with the second-most home runs (10) and an average of .376.
Clemson won't have a chance to compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament. The NCAA ruled last Thursday to cancel all spring championships.
While the situation casts a shadow on the season, it’s hard to call it in anything but a remarkable start.
The softball team is a new program that needs as much experience and practice as it can get to continue to improve. Now, the program has to rely on the responsibility and discipline of their players to put the work in themselves over this break and get better for the future.
They are unable to practice in any way, including weight training, batting practices, film sessions and any other type of gathering organized by the coaching staff.
The games have been well-attended by the students and the fanbase as a whole.
They are high scoring with great batting, baserunning and pitching. With an 88 percent home-winning percentage and a total 32 home runs, this team has gone far beyond expectations.
While most of the team is young, mostly freshman and sophomores, there are two seniors on the team. MK Bonamy and Ansley Gilstrap, who redshirted after suffering a season-ending injury before the start of the season. The NCAA ruled Friday that the two seniors will not lose their year of eligibility, meaning Gilstrap and Bonamy will have one season to compete for the Tigers should they choose.
Almost all sports are a game of momentum. The Clemson softball team had won 11 out of its last 12 and was hoping to continue the high level of play against Georgia Tech in this next ACC series.