Alia Logoleo Helps Take Clemson Softball To The Next Level
Just last season, moving up the rankings wasn’t always the easiest task for Clemson's softball program. After a loss to Oklahoma State in the program’s first-ever super regional appearance, the Tigers came up short, ending their season on a less-than-ideal note.
Now in the program’s fourth season, the Tigers are destined to flip the script. They are in the midst of a historic year, and are continuing to put up impressive numbers on both offense and defense.
With players like Alia Logoleo taking on a new infield role—while making diving catches and assisting the team on offense with a .321 batting average—Clemson is robust from top to bottom.
“The beginning of the season was a time where we felt that we needed to prove ourselves to everyone that we were going further this year,” Logoleo said. “Every year we have taken bigger steps towards the World Series, and this year will not be any different. We knew that this year's team had the ability to be a top team in the nation, but we honestly never expected the success that we have had.”
Coming into Clemson's program as a seasoned outfielder, Logoleo never saw herself competing from the infield. But from day one with the program, Logoleo has carried the mentality that she will always step up wherever and whenever the need may be.
“Growing up, I played all over the field and also played multiple sports, which has helped me when it comes to playing different positions,” Logoleo said. “(My) coaches trust me to fill in any spot that the team needs, and my teammates and pitchers trust me to make plays behind them. I have found a home at shortstop this year, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be in the outfield next year.”
The burgeoning shortstop has taken many strides to improve her game, making it seem like she has played in the middle infield for years.
“There has been a lot of work outside of practice on picks, backhands, side-arm throws, etc.,” Logoleo said. “In the infield, however, I have to put in a lot of extra work mentally and physically. The biggest learning curve is having to learn where to be and when to be there.”
As a powerful force on the offensive side as well, Logoleo is continuing to push herself further than in years before, and it all comes down to the mindset she brings into the box with her.
“I am someone who has to be calm in the box,” Logoleo said. “If I find myself thinking too much, then I know that I am starting to struggle at the plate. I know the strengths and weaknesses of my swing, so I try to do lots of tee work on my own to improve my weaknesses and keep my strengths up. To me, hitting is very mental, and the better my mindset is, the more success I will have.”
Proving to be an essential piece of Clemson’s puzzle, Logoleo knows she can never let up. She is determined to keep her head down and continue to lead by example, which has worked out in the Tigers’ favor so far.
“I am in a big leadership position on the field, but I am also in a big spot in the lineup as well,” Logoleo said. “I am in a spot that is able to produce a lot of RBIs, and if I am not producing those RBIs when needed, then I am not doing my job. I have the ability to take hits away and score runs for my team, so it is very important that I am able to do both at a high level.”
In Logoleo’s opinion, this Clemson team isn’t one to be slept on. When hit with adversity, she knows the Tigers can overcome it, and believes there will be a lot of excitement surrounding the team as postseason approaches.
“We are passionate about what we do,” Logoleo said. “We are able to enjoy the success we have, and when failure happens, we are able to learn from it. This team's chemistry is better than any team I have ever been on.”