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Clemson falls short to Florida State in ACC Championship game

Max Knipstein, Contributor

Clemson second baseman Cammy Pereira throws to first base in McWhorter Stadium.

In a back-and-forth ACC Championship game, Clemson softball fell short to Florida State 8-6, losing its second consecutive title game appearance. 

The Tigers entered the fourth inning tied with Florida State at four runs apiece, but Clemson left fielder Sam Russ briefly changed the game’s momentum after delivering a solo home run to center field that gave the Tigers a one-run lead. 

Although Clemson held on to the one-run lead through the fifth, the Seminoles stormed back when they scored four times in the sixth to make it an 8-5 ballgame.  

Florida State’s Amaya Ross was the first to score in the sixth when she stole home to tie up the game at 5-5. That tie was then broken by first baseman Mack Leonard, who hit a homer that brought in three runs. Clemson center fielder McKenzie Clark scored in the seventh to bring the Tigers’ deficit within two, but Russ lined out with two runners on base to end the game. 

Clemson second baseman Cammy Pereira continued to be an asset in the Tournament on Saturday, scoring the first run of the game in the first inning. Meanwhile, Alia Logoleo had another strong performance, batting 3-4 on the day and 6-10 in the Tournament.  

2021 ACC player of the year Valerie Cagle started in the circle for the Tigers. She managed an ERA of 2.00 in her 5.2 innings pitched, letting up six hits. Sophomore Millie Thompson came in to relieve to close out the game, allowing no other hits or runs.   

Competing for the title for the second year in a row, Clemson softball went into the championship game with an upset victory over top-seed Virginia Tech in the semifinals and defeating Notre Dame in the quarterfinals.  

The Seminoles swept the Tigers in their regular season series earlier this season, making Saturday’s loss the fourth defeat against Florida State this year for Clemson. 

Saturday’s outcome was not what the Tigers wanted, but the loss marks two consecutive ACC Championship game appearances in Clemson’s first two full seasons as a program.  

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