CLEMSON, S.C. — Getting a no-hitter is rare. Getting one in a postseason game is rare. Doing it in the first ever postseason game you pitched, and it is your team’s first time hosting a postseason game – now that is rare.
But that is exactly what Millie Thompson did for No. 10 Clemson on Friday. The sophomore threw Clemson Softball’s first ever postseason no-hitter in the Tigers’ 9-0 victory over UNC Wilmington at McWhorter Stadium.
It was the first time Clemson hosted an NCAA Softball Regional game.
“Millie did just an outstanding job in the circle,” Clemson head coach John Rittman said. “Anytime you throw a no-hitter it is special, but to do it in the post-season, I think we will all remember that for the rest of our lives.”
Thompson was not perfect on Friday, but she was close. And like Rittman said, it was special.
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The lefty allowed just two base runners all afternoon and both were hit by pitches. She did not allow any walks and she struck out four batters.
In all, she faced 16 batters through five innings of work before the game was called due to the NCAA’s mercy rule.
“I was really, really excited,” Thompson said about her performance in Game 1 of the Clemson Regional. “I kinda felt like I would throw today. It was a great experience. I am glad that (the coaches) have trust in me to allow me to start that first game, so I am really happy about it.”
The only things that could have made Thompson happier would have been not hitting the two batters she did. However, the sophomore just chalked it up as a learning experience as she waits for her next opportunity to pitch in the regional.
“I was working on going in,” Thompson said. “I know I have to throw in and out against Auburn and Louisiana. I just wanted to work on that, but unfortunately, I hit a few people. But, you know, it will prepare me for the next day.”
Thompson will likely pitch later in the regional, depending on how Rittman will use his pitchers. All-ACC performer, and 2021 ACC Player of the Year, Valerie Cagle will start in the circle against Auburn, who beat Louisiana, 4-3, in Game 2.
Game 3 will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner advancing to Sunday’s championship round.