Clemson Softball starts 2024 season this week in Florida

The Tigers will play in three preseason events to leadoff the program's fifth season.
Valerie Cagle (72) and Millie Thompson (87)
Valerie Cagle (72) and Millie Thompson (87) / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson Softball starts its 2024 season this week, and expectations have never been higher for the young program.

Head coach John Rittman’s squad was voted in a tie for 2nd place in the Atlantic Coast Conference pseason by the league’s head coaches, alongside the Duke Blue Devils. The Florida State Seminoles were predicted to finish first in the conference.

The Tigers return a veteran lineup, particularly on the mound. Valerie Cagle and Millie Thompson will anchor the rotation for Clemson, with Brooke McCubbin and Regan Spencer on the next string.

Cagle was voted to the preseason All-ACC team, as well as multiple other national preseason recognitions.

The Tigers will begin regular season play this Thursday in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Florida. The NFCA is the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, and they sponsor tournaments at multiple levels of college and high school competition.

Clemson starts the event against the Missouri State Bears, followed by the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday. They will play a doubleheader on Saturday against the Liberty Flames at noon and the Oregon Ducks that evening. They will complete the event with a Sunday game against the Missouri Tigers.

Clemson Softball will play events in Florida and Mexico before hosting their own at McWhorter Stadium

Next up will be the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Mexico. The Tigers will play the UC San Diego Tritons on Thursday, February 15th, and the Utah Utes the next day. They will finish with a doubleheader on Saturday against the Auburn Tigers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The Tigers will play one more road contest against the Charlotte 49ers before beginning the Clemson Classic on February 23rd at McWhorter Stadium. They will play the Ole Miss Rebels on Friday and the Miami (OH) RedHawks and the UConn Huskies on Saturday. Their Sunday opponent will be determined by the results from Friday and Saturday.

Clemson then has one more away contest before starting their ACC schedule at home against the NC State Wolfpack on March 1st.