After COVID-19 canceled the first matchup between the Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers in 2020, there was a chance that the two would match up in the 2021 ACC Tournament for the first time — that ended up not being the case.
Now, on Thursday, the Seminoles and Tigers will finally get the chance to battle it out on the diamond.
While the Tigers are only in their third year as a program, they have seen success early. In 2021 they won the ACC regular-season title with an overall record of 44-8, though ending up falling to Duke in the ACC Tournament championship game. They also got the chance to be selected to the NCAA regionals for the first time ever in program history. In the Tuscaloosa regional, they won two games against Troy and lost both games to No. 3 Alabama.
Now, in 2022, they are led by head coach John Rittman, who is on track toward leading his team to another postseason run. Overall, they are 33-11 and 11-7 in the ACC. Just like the ‘Noles, the Tigers participated in the St.Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, winning games against Texas Tech, Tennessee and Washington while dropping games to Northwestern and Wisconsin. Since then, they have dropped a midweek matchup to Georgia and swept in-state rival South Carolina.
In ACC play, they were swept in their first conference series by Virginia Tech and lost two of three to Duke. They took two of three from Louisville and Notre Dame while sweeping North Carolina and Pitt.
Redshirt sophomore Valerie Cagle has become the face of the Tigers. The 2021 ACC player and freshman of the year has 121.2 innings in the circle. Cagle has a 1.96 ERA with 108 hits, 41 runs, and 30 walks to 146 strikeouts. Opposing batters are hitting .227 with Cagle in the circle. In addition to being a mainstay in the circle, she is in the batting lineup as well. In 139 at-bats, she has posted a .302 batting average, which is second-best on the team. Cagle has started all 44 games in the lineup, with 28 runs, 42 hits, 9 home runs, and 34 RBI.
The other side to the 1-2 punch with Cagle is sophomore Millie Thompson. In 78 innings, Thompson has a 1.61 ERA in 18 appearances. She has given up 62 hits to 22 runs, along with 10 walks to 80 strikeouts, and is holding batters to a .212 batting average.
With the bats, Rittman has a team that can bring power as well as speed. Sophomore Mckenzie Clark either leads off, or bats 9th to turn the lineup over. In 44 games, Clark is batting .316 with 32 runs, 42 hits, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 22 RBI. Her speed allows her to put pressure on opposing teams, as she is 6 for 8 in stolen bases.
The speed continues with NC State graduate transfer, Sam Russ. Even though she is only batting .288, Russ has 26 runs, 36 hits, 5 doubles and 4 triples. She is a perfect 22 for 22 in stolen bases.
Graduate student Marissa Guimbarda is batting .294 in 119 at-bats. She has recorded 17 runs, 35 hits, and 32 RBI. Guimbarda is tied for the team lead in home runs, with 10 round-trippers. She also leads the Tigers in walks, with 23.
Other Key Players
Alia Logoleo: .277 BA / 23 R / 33 H / 10 HR / 37 RBI / .555 SLG / 2-4 SB
Cammy Pereira: .290 BA / 25 R / 38 H / 4 HR / 19 RBI / .435 SLG
Regan Spencer: 1.03 ERA / 47.1 IP / 36 H / 10 R / 13 BB / 30 SO / .207 B/AVG
FSU (.296) Clemson (.276)
FSU (1.85) Clemson (1.80)
FSU (.983) Clemson (.969)
More to Know
Head coach Lonni Alameda and Head Coach John Rittman coached together while at Stanford from 1996-2003.
How to Watch
The series will kick off on Thursday night:
Thursday- 8 p.m. ESPN2
Friday- 6 p.m. ACCN
Saturday- 2 p.m. ACCN
Live updates will be on the game thread as well as Twitter