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Clemson splits Saturday doubleheader against NC State

Rhylie Ladoucer
Clemson’s Valerie Cagle slings a pitch to an NC State batter on Saturday at McWhorter Stadium.

The No. 8 Clemson softball team kicked off ACC play against NC State in a doubleheader at McWhorter Stadium on Saturday, as the Tigers recorded their first ACC win and loss, falling 6-1 in the first game and winning 8-0 in the second game.

In the day’s first game, the Wolfpack (14-4, 1-1 ACC) started as hot as ever, scoring all six of their runs in the top of the second, as Clemson left seven runners stranded on base throughout the duration of the game.

The game came to a standstill after the first two innings as Clemson (12-4, 1-1 ACC) recorded just five hits after the top of the first inning, failing to generate any momentum. Clemson pitcher Millie Thompson also gave up no more runs for the remainder of the contest. Senior right-handed pitcher Regan Spencer relieved Thompson in the seventh inning to finish the game.

Game two saw the reigning USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Clemson right-handed pitcher and utility Valerie Cagle, take over from start to finish, ending the game with a 1.00 ERA and allowing just one hit against 15 batters faced.

In the first game, Clemson had difficulties hitting, going just 7-for-25, but Clemson’s offensive woes ended in the second matchup.

It all started when Clark smashed a single to left field in the first inning, followed by a walk from Cagle. Graduate infielder/outfielder Lindsey Garcia sliced a single through the left side to give her the game’s first RBI as Clark scored. Following in Garcia’s footsteps, junior infielder Maddie Moore singled through the right side to assist Cagle in scoring. Moore went on to steal second base, which allowed Garcia to score on a throw to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.

The second inning was slow on both sides, but once the third hit, Clemson resumed its previous pace, scoring two runs to take a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the fourth.

After NC State’s shortstop made a mistake that allowed Cagle to reach first base, graduate outfielder Julia Bomhardt pinch-ran for Cagle, which allowed her to steal second base. Garcia was then able to steal second base after hitting a single to right field. Moore stepped up to the plate and hit a deep sacrifice fly to get Bomhardt batted in and Garcia onto third base. But the sequence didn’t stop there; junior catcher and utility Aby Vieira singled through the right side, enabling Garcia to score.

Redshirt junior catcher and utility Abi Stuart came in to pinch hit for redshirt senior infielder/outfielder Arielle Oda to close out the fourth inning. Stuart sent a strike to shortstop for a single, and Oda then came back onto the field as a runner.

Brown continued to have a great day, moving Oda to second base with a single to center field. Then Clark and Cagle proceed to get out. So, Alia Logoleo took it into her own hands to help end the game by blasting her second home run of the season over center field, bringing in Brown and Oda as well for a three-run score.

The Tigers’ defense then sealed the deal, holding NC State to zero runs in the fifth to come away with the rune-rule victory in five innings.

Clemson will be back in action against NC State for the third and final game of the series on Sunday at noon in McWhorter Stadium.

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Angelo Feliberty
Angelo Feliberty, Senior Reporter
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