CLEMSON, S.C. — As Alia Logoleo watched Alabama celebrate last year’s win over Clemson to advance to the Super Regional Round of the NCAA Softball Tournament, she got jealous.
“They were a team that had been there so many times throughout all the years I have watched them play,” the Tigers’ shortstop said on Thursday. “Now, it is our chance. I think we can kinda of take that and say, ‘Hey! If they can do it, we know we can do it because we were competitive with them last year.’”
The time is now for Clemson Softball, as it hosts its first NCAA Regional at McWhorter Stadium on Friday. The Tigers, the No. 10 overall seed, will play UNC-Wilmington at noon in Game 1 of the Clemson Regional. Auburn, the No. 2 seed in the regional will play No. 3 Louisiana in Game 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Friday’s game will mark Clemson’s second consecutive appearance to the NCAA Tournament, though the program is just in its second full season.
Valerie Cagle, who pitched in last year’s Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Regional, did not watch the Crimson Tide celebrate. Instead, the two-time First-Team All-ACC performer tried to console her teammates that saw their college careers come to an end that afternoon.
“We had some people that were leaving, and they were having moments at the end of the game, trying to say their goodbyes,” Cagle recalled. “So, that is where my focus (was). I did not pay attention to what Alabama was doing.
“But definitely, that is a feeling we want. It is kind of similar to having to watch Duke celebrate winning the ACC Tournament (last year) and we just had to watch FSU celebrate. We so badly want to be able to do that.”
They get another chance this weekend, and they get it at home.
“We got a lot of experience last year playing at Alabama. Their fans are insane,” Logoleo said. “They go crazy on every play. But now they are cheering for us, and we are super excited to have our fanbase behind us.”
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Clemson (S.C.) Regional
Friday, May 20
Game 1: No. 10 seed Clemson (39-15) vs. UNC-Wilmington (32-13), Noon.
Game 2: Auburn (39-15) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (45-11), 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, TBA
Game 4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, TBA
Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, TBA
Sunday, May 22
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, TBA
x-Game 7: Game 6 opponents, TBA