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Tigers Snubbed By NCAA Committee; Now Turn Attention to 'Shocking the World'

The Tigers (41-6, 29-5 ACC) are set to face Troy (36-15) in their opening game, while the No. 3 overall Alabama (45-7) and Alabama State (19-27) round out the regional field.
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The Clemson Tigers softball team thought they had done enough to warrant hosting a regional in only their second year of play. In fact, the Tigers' head coach had all of the confidence in the world that the committee would get the job done right.

“We did everything in our power and under our control to take care of business on the field,” head coach John Rittman said after the Tigers' 1-0 loss in the ACC Championship. “We are 42-6 and at the end of the day we can look in the mirror and say we did everything we could and now it’s up to the committee and they’ll do a great job.”

But the NCAA committee had other ideas.

In spite of winning the ACC regular-season crown, finishing the season with a 42-6 mark, coming up one run shy in the conference championship game and losing only one series all season long, the Tigers were shipped off to play in the Tuscaloosa Regional beginning Friday at Rhoads Softball Stadium—home of the No. 3 national seed Alabama Crimson Tide.

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The Tigers (41-6, 29-5 ACC) are set to face Troy (36-15) in their opening game, while the No. 3 overall Alabama (45-7) and Alabama State (19-27) round out the regional field.

"I'm so excited for our program to be playing in our first NCAA tournament ever going to regionals and Alabama is going to be a special environment," Rittman said. "I know our team's excited, our coaching staff is excited to represent Clemson and our great softball program here. 

"Just looking forward to a wonderful experience we played really well all season long and have earned the right to be in this NCAA Tournament and just look forward to a great weekend a softball. I know our team is going to be ready, and we're really really excited about representing our university down in Tuscaloosa."

Even though the Tigers have zero history against the other three teams in their regional and face one of the most difficult roads to the Women's College World Series, the Tigers are embracing the challenge and plan on "shocking the world".

"We're super excited to go to the regionals. This is our first year as a program so I think that's something that we really should be proud of," Tiger second baseman Cammy Pereira said. "Alabama is a tough place to play but we've always been talking about shocking the world and what better place to do it than in Rhodes stadium.

"We're really excited for the energy center similar energy to what we have here at home, so we're just thankful to be a part of this and keep our season going."

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