CLEARWATER, Fla. – The 2024 NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic kicked off the Division I softball season on Thursday night as fifth-ranked Clemson and Indiana earned season-opening victories. The Tigers defeated Missouri State, 12-0, while the Hoosiers edged No. 15 Oregon, 7-5. The remainder of the 17-team field, along with the above-mentioned teams, will be part of the first full day of competition on Friday at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.
Clemson posted five runs in each of the first two innings and cruised to the five-inning win. Back-to-back homers by Julia Knowler and Alia Logoleo highlighted the first inning, while Maddie Moore punctuated the second inning with a grand slam. Knowler and Moore each registered three hits and four RBI, while three pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout.
IU jumped out to a 5-1 lead after one and a half innings and held on for the 7-5 triumph. Brianna Copeland powered the Hoosiers knocking in four of the first five runs with a RBI triple in the first and a three-run long ball in the second. Copeland, along with Cora Bassett scored three runs apiece. Copeland picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs on two hits with six strikeouts over the final 5.1 innings. Alyssa Daniell was 2-for-2 with a homer, two RBI and two runs scored for the Ducks.
All games will be streamed live on NFCA Official Sponsor GameChanger’s app (free). The sole streaming provider will run live video streams, which can be viewed on a phone, tablet and desktop with games on Fields 8 & 9 featuring a multi-camera broadcast, play-by-play and analysis.
On Saturday, history will be made at the tournament, as three contests on Feb. 10 will be aired on MLB Network, marking the first live collegiate softball games on the Network.
Friday’s full slate of games begins at 10 a.m. with Notre Dame vs. Central Arkansas and South Alabama vs. North Carolina Central.
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its competitive Leadoff Classics, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from a highly-regarded Awards Program to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and a National Convention.