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Hot bats lead Clemson past NC State

Rhylie Ladoucer
Clemson ace Valerie Cagle (72) and outfielder McKenzie Clark (7) high five in the dugout during game two of the Tigers’ series against NC State.

Despite an early deficit, the No. 8 Clemson softball team defeated NC 14-9 at McWhorter Stadium on Sunday to win the weekend series.

The Tigers’ bats were hot for the entirety of the third and final game, totaling four home runs to lead them over the Wolfpack. The 14 runs scored were the most for Clemson’s season thus far.

NC State opened the game on fire with five runs in the first inning, spearheaded by MaKayla Marbury’s home run in the first at-bat of the contest. Clemson (13-4, 2-1 ACC) recorded three errors in the first and gave up a season-high nine runs allowed to assist the Wolfpack lead.

The Tigers brought the momentum back in their favor in the bottom of the first, scoring three, highlighted by an Alia Logoleo home run.

In the second, Valerie Cagle, last year’s Collegiate Player of the Year, belted a three-run homer in what would end up as a five-run inning to take an 8-5 lead. Cagle finished the game with a single, double and home run on a four-RBI day and is now batting .404 for the year.

The Wolfpack (14-5, 1-2 ACC) battled back in the third, generating four more runs on three consecutive hits to take a 9-8 lead; however, it would be short-lived.

Two more home runs, a two-run by Maddie Moore in the fourth and a three-run by McKenzie Clark in the fifth would do all but seal the game for the Tigers, putting them up 14-9 headed into the seventh.

Brooke McCubbin took the Wolfpack down 1-2-3 to wrap things up in the seventh. The right-handed pitcher finished with just one hit allowed in three innings.

“I’m really proud of how our offense responded and came back three different times in that game,” Clemson head coach John Rittman said. “During a long season, you got to find different ways to win, and certainly, we won the slugfest today.”

NC State claimed the first game of the weekend with a 6-1 win on Saturday, while Clemson secured an 8-0 victory in the second.

Clemson returns to the diamond on Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a mid-week matchup against Tennessee at McWhorter Stadium.

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Weston Grant
Weston Grant, Senior Reporter
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    lois tooleyApr 19, 2024 at 11:11 am

    Nice article!