Clemson Softball: Felsberg Invitational Preview


Who: Florida International, Georgia State and Kansas City

When: Thursday Feb 9 vs FIU at 5:30 PM, Friday Feb 10 vs Georgia State, Saturday Feb 11 vs Kansas City. Saturday Feb 11 and Sunday Feb 12 will have matchups between the same teams based on results of games prior.

Where: Felsberg Field at FIU Softball Stadium, Miami, FL

The Clemson Tigers softball team starts the season in Miami, Fla. at Florida International’s Felsberg Invitational, playing round-robin games against Georgia State, Florida International (FIU) and Kansas City before a pair of tournament-style games to close the Invitational. Below you will find a brief breakdown of the opponents the Tigers will face during the first live action of the season.

Florida International– FIU is hosting another tournament to kick off this season after hosting last season as well. Second year coach Mike Larabee, who led the Panthers to a record of 19-31 last season, will once again be leading the Panthers for the 2023 campaign looking to improve their standing in Conference USA. This is a team on the younger side, with 13 of their 22 players being either a Freshman or Sophomore. 

Georgia State– Also led by a coach in their second year, Georgia State’s Angie Nicholson hopes to better upon the 21-33 overall record along with a 9-15 record in the Sun Belt Conference last season. The Panthers return the team leader in batting average, Bailee Richardson, who held a .315 average overall along with 10 homeruns. Also returning are Chloe Middlebrooks and Emily Brown, a couple of speedy threats along the basepath. Georgia State broke a team record for steals last season with the aforementioned Middlebrooks and Brown contributing with 24 and 22 steals respectively. Their speed is something to keep an eye out for along the basepaths this tournament. 

Kansas City– The University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos of the Summit League are more commonly referred to as the Kansas City Kangaroos(‘Roos). They have a coach in her debut season with the Kangaroos in Kiki Stokes O’Connor. The name should not be unfamiliar with those who know softball. A great player in her own right during her time at Nebraska; now Coach O’Connor seeks to increase the win total from the 13-34 record accrued last season. The Kangaroos are another young team with a combined 14 Freshmen or Sophomores. 

It is exciting to see the Tigers take to the softball diamond for the first time against a live opponent. While there is always an air of uncertainty taking the field to begin a new season this invitational should serve as a great warm up to start the year. FIU, Georgia State and Kansas City will arrive ready to play but should find themselves outmatched in terms of talent. Clemson needs to take advantage of these early opportunities to get ready sooner rather than later as the level of competition improves quickly as the year begins.

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