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Clemson softball’s late-game push propels Clemson past Akron

Aralynn Minnick, Contributor

Clemson infielder Alia Logoleo faces off against Akron on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

In a continuation of the Clemson Classic softball tournament, ESPN’s No. 9 Tigers defeated Akron 10-5 at McWhorter Stadium in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

This win comes after a victory over both Boston and Saint Francis on Friday, placing the Tigers in the championship game against Boston on Saturday night, which Clemson also won.

Clemson’s starting freshman pitcher, Brooke McCubbin, demonstrated consistency through her four innings pitched, holding the Zips to no runs and just three hits. McCubbin was relieved by freshman pitcher Rachel Gibson at the top of the fifth, followed by sophomore Emma Whitfield.  

After allowing five runs in a single inning, the Tigers placed Valerie Cagle in the circle at the top of the sixth inning. Cagle rounded out the game by allowing no further hits or runs to solidify the five-run victory. 

Clemson sophomore outfielder McKenzie Clark added the Tigers’ first run of the game at the bottom of the first with a single to right field. She currently leads the team in stolen bases and further solidified this position when she stole second base. She then scored after outfielder Marissa Guimbarda hit a ball to centerfield, giving the Tigers a one run lead at the bottom of the first. 

Clark, who was a 2022 preseason All-ACC selection, dominated the entire game offensively, taking responsibility for three of the Tiger’s ten runs.  

A solid hit from outfielder Cammy Periera set the Tigers up for success in their first rotation of the game. She loaded the Tigers’ bases with Cagle on third base, Guimbarda on second and herself on first.  

Next in the lineup came true freshman catcher Aby Vieira, who scored her first collegiate grand slam. Her home run sent Cagle, Guimbarda, Periera and herself to home base, setting the score at 5-0 before the second inning.  

Akron tightened the game with four hits and five runs in the top of the fifth inning to bring the score up to 6-5.  

Although the Tigers did not return any runs in the fifth, the bottom of the sixth saw a hit from Guimbarda, sending home outfielder Sam Russ and Clark. A subsequent line-drive from Periera then cleared all bases, sending Guimbarda and Cagle home to end the game, 10-5. 

The Tigers, now (11-3), now look towards Tuesday’s home matchup with Gardner-Webb, which will start at 5 p.m. at McWhorter Stadium.  

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