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Cagle, Clemson shut out South Carolina in rivalry game

Aralynn Minnick // Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson pitcher/utility player Valerie Cagle (72) takes an at-bat against South Carolina on March 28, 2023 at McWhorter Stadium.

No. 5 Clemson (33-1, 9-0 ACC) dominated South Carolina (24-8, 1-5 SEC) Tuesday night in a 10-0 win at home in McWhorter Stadium. An all-around team performance and a dominant outing from starting pitcher Valerie Cagle were two major factors in the victory. 

Cagle, who took home ACC and national player of the week honors earlier this season, made coming out on top in the rivalry series look easy thanks to her presence both at the plate and on the mound. 

The Yorktown, Virginia, native went 2 for 2 at the plate for the evening, improving her season batting average to .495.

On the mound, Cagle threw just 51 pitches, allowing one hit for the entirety of the game. She struck out five Gamecocks and had one walk. 

The action started early in the game, as McKenzie Clark scored for the Tigers in the first inning on a Cagle single and a Carolina error. Cagle crossed the plate soon after, giving Clemson a quick 2-0 advantage. The Tigers held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.

Cagle scored yet again for her team in the third after she hit her 12th home run of the season.  

The fourth inning saw Clemson score seven runs, showing off the depth of the roster. Julia Bomhardt and Ally Miklesh scored two runs in the fourth, followed by Clark and Ansley Houston scoring on walks in two loaded-base situations. 

Using that momentum with bases loaded yet again, starter Alia Logoleo then homered to left field to bring in Cagle and Maddie Moore. Aby Vieira also had a rare two-hit inning. The seven-run frame concluded, defining the game and securing the win for the Tigers. 

 “Our offense is very versatile. We can score in many different ways like we did tonight, and that’s very evident,” head coach John Rittman said.

“You need that versatility to score runs in fastpitch softball, and our team can definitely do that,” he added. 

Logoleo is a force on the field as well as at the plate, and she takes pride in her defensive work. 

“Last year, we relied on our pitchers to get outs, and this year we know that we were going to make the plays behind them,” Logoleo said. 

As a team, the Tigers scored 10 runs on nine hits and finished with a .450 batting average. Logoleo was credited for four of the Tigers’ nine RBIs for the night.

Rittman, although he acknowledges there is a lot of season left, knows he has “a complete team” with a strong staff all around. 

Clemson will continue ACC play this weekend, where the team will travel to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, to play the Eagles this Friday.

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Kiley Bouchard
Kiley Bouchard, Senior Reporter
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