CLEMSON — Clemson’s bid for a third straight ACC Championship appearance came to an end Friday at Melissa Cook Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
The second-seed Blue Devils knocked off No. 3 seed Clemson, 2-0, in the semifinals to eliminate the Tigers from the ACC Championships. Duke advances to play top-seed Florida State on Saturday in the championship game, while Clemson waits to see if it has done enough to host an NCAA Regional next week or will have to go on the road instead.
The NCAA Softball Tournament Selection Show will air Sunday at 7 p.m.
Clemson (46-9, 18-6 ACC) had played for the ACC Championship in each of the last two seasons. The Tigers lost to Duke in the finals two years ago and lost another heartbreaker to the Seminoles in last year’s championship game.
For a second straight day, it was Clemson’s lack of hitting and putting the ball in play that spelled its doom. Even in their quarterfinal-win over North Carolina, the Tigers managed little offense, as it tallied just four hits in a 2-1 victory.
They were worse against Duke, as freshman Cassidy Curd no hit the Tigers. The only base runners for Clemson were shortstop Alia Logoleo, who was hit by a pitch with one out in the second inning, and Reedy Davenport in the sixth inning, who was also hit by a pitch.
Curd’s no-hitter was just the second time in its three-and-a-half-year history that Clemson was no hit. Notre Dame’s Alexis Holloway no hit the Tigers on April 15, 2022 in Clemson. Curd’s no-hitter was just the sixth in the history of the ACC Tournament and she is the first true freshman to record a no-hitter.
The Tigers came into the ACC Championships second in batting average and third in home runs in league play. Clemson’s previous low in hits this year was two, which came in a win over Virginia and a loss to Florida State.
Duke (45-9, 19-5 ACC) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Aminah Vega reached on a Maddie Moore error at second and later came home to score on a one-out single to centerfield by Claire Davidson.
The Blue Devils extended their lead to 2-0 in the third inning and ran off Clemson starter Millie Thompson with two infield hits and bunt single. With the bases loaded and with one out, Ana Gold flew out to right field to score pinch runner Kelsey Zampa from third base.
Reliever Brooke McCubbin came in with no outs in the third inning for Thompson and kept the Blue Devils scoreless the rest of the day. McCubbin gave up just one hit in four scoreless innings of work and struck out three.
—photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
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