NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 3 seeded Tigers fell 2-0 to the No. 2 seeded Duke Blue Devils in the semifinals of the ACC Championship. Following the loss, Clemson drops to 46-9 overall, while Duke improves to 45-9.
“Tough loss today,” said Head Coach John Rittman. “Our pitching staff kept us in the game. Millie (Thompson) gave us a great start, and Brooke (McCubbin) was fabulous. If you take two ground balls away, it’s a 0-0 ball game. Certainly, we have to do a better job at the plate and have more competitive at bats, and we will. We have to stay positive. I give a lot of credit to Duke’s pitcher. She pitched a heck of a game, and we didn’t make the necessary adjustments throughout the seven innings. If you don’t make adjustments at this level, you are going to get beat. We have to do better offensively and continue to work. We still have championships to play for, and that has to be our mindset.
Wherever we end up for Regionals, whether we host or are sent on the road, we know we are going to have to beat good teams to get to where we want to go. We are who we are at this time of year. We have to be prepared, if we are at home or sent on the road, to play three good teams to be ready to win a championship.”
Duke took the lead in the bottom of the second after the leadoff batter reached on an error. She advanced to second on a sac bunt, and a hard into center plated the opening run. The Blue Devils added another in the third inning after loading the bases with only one out. A sac fly to right field plated the runner on third to make it 2-0 in Duke’s favor.
Reedy Davenport attempted to get something going for the Tigers offensively in the sixth after getting hit by a pitch, but Clemson would leave her stranded. The 2-0 lead would hold for the Blue Devils for the remainder of the game.
Junior Millie Thompson got the start for the Tigers. She pitched two innings with one strikeout. She falls to 13-3 on the year. Thompson was replaced by sophomore Brooke McCubbin in the third inning. McCubbin pitched the final four frames with three strikeouts.
The Tigers will await their 2023 postseason designation during the Selection Show, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 14 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.