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Moore details journey to Clemson, overcoming adversity

Max Knipstein // Contributor

Clemson infielder Maddie Moore celebrates in the Tigers’ dugout during their matchup with Boston in 2022.

California-born and raised sophomore Maddie Moore took the 2,621-mile leap after she earned a spot on Clemson’s softball roster. The cross-country move is no easy feat, nor is joining one of the top D1 softball teams in the country.

In an interview with The Tiger, Moore talked about her experiences with both her biological and athletic family, and how she plans to follow her career aspirations of helping fellow female athletes with body positivity.

When it comes to softball, Moore is living her dream. After taking up the sport at just 3 years old, she decided she wanted to reach the collegiate level at a very young age.

“I watched college girls play on the TV at a young age, and I remember thinking to myself that was what I wanted to do when I got to their age,” Moore said. “Softball was my life.”

When it comes to Moore’s family members, it was their continuous support which helped her arrive at Tigertown. 

“My mom and dad have been nothing but supportive when it came to my softball goals,” Moore said. “They never once have said that my dreams were too big. When it came to the whole recruiting process, they dove in head first and never gave up on me.

“All they asked was, ‘Are you sure?’ and my answer was very quick: ‘Yes, I’m sure.’ With that, we started the next chapter of my life.” 

Two weeks after her verbal commitment to Clemson in October 2019, Moore thought her career was finished. She had suffered an ACL and meniscus tear in her knee. After years of hard work and dedication, she feared her dreams of playing at the next level were long gone. 

However, Moore realized the injury was taking more of a mental than a physical toll on her recovery.  

“My superhero rescued me,” she said, referring to her mother. “My mom always reminded me that I was more than just a softball player. She kept me sane during this new, in a way, character development I was going through.” 

After a hard-fought battle, Moore made a full recovery — partly in credit to her parental guidance — and now shines as an infielder with the Tigers. 

Wanting to have the same familial environment that she had back home, Moore knew Clemson was the right choice when she felt that with the program.

“The coaching staff cares so much about you as an individual and wants you to have a good time as a student and as an athlete. They were a huge part of my choice as well as letting my parents feel secure as I travel across the country for school.” 

Studying sociology and women’s leadership, Moore hopes to pursue a career working with a corporation in making women’s athletic wear. Having experienced so much love and support from the females in her life, Moore wants to give this back on a larger scale. 

As a female athlete, Moore feels like she understands what she, her teammates and other females in athletics would truly wear. 

“I really want to help support women with body confidence — to make every woman feel good about themselves if they are working out or just want to wear the clothes as loungewear.” 

To her, a dream would be to accomplish this with Nike. 

“Body positivity is really important to me,” she added.

For now, Moore has settled into her new home and has succeeded in her athletic career thus far. In her first season with the Tigers, Moore started in 57 games as a freshman in 2022, racking up a .927 fielding percentage. After scoring 25 runs and recording 11 RBIs last year, fans can expect more of the sophomore on the plate this season. 

“I want to make it to the World Series,” she said. “As well as continue to have fun with my best friends and keep growing the love for this sport.”

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Kiley Bouchard, Senior Reporter
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