The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson dominates Northwestern with ‘contagious’ plate performance

Aralynn Minnick // Photo Editor

Clemson shortstop Alia Logoleo celebrates during the Tigers’ 15-2 win over Northwestern at McWhorter Stadium on Feb. 17, 2023. 

Clemson began its home opening weekend with a five inning 15-2 win against Northwestern to kick off the ACC/Big 10 Challenge at McWhorter Stadium on Friday. 

Leading off the Tigers’ hitting, outfielder McKenzie Clark sent a homer out of the park on Clemson’s first at-bat of the day, setting the tone for the game. 

Clark’s bat stayed hot after her initial homer as she ended the game 3 for 4 at the plate, scoring three runs and recording two RBIs.

“McKenzie is like that,” head coach John Rittman said after the game. “She’s a lead-off hitter that can beat you with a drag bunt. She’ll hit a double in the gap, she’ll hit a home run. She’s just a very dynamic player — a lot of swag for us, so she provides that spark, and that’s why we have her in the lead-off spot.”

This early leadoff propelled Clemson into 15 total hits for the game. No plate appearance was left without action, as Clemson tallied five runs in the second inning and four runs in both the first and third. 

“Hitting is contagious,” Rittman added. “It was just one big hit after another, and McKenzie started it all with a home run.”

Offensively, Clemson dominated across the roster. Catcher Aby Vieira and infielder Reedy Davenport both hit their first home runs of the season. Infielder Maddie Moore ran in three runs for the Tigers, and Caroline Jacobson led the team in RBIs with three.

As for Davenport, the graduate transfer earned her first home run as a Tiger at McWhorter. 

“It was a good time to be able to do it in front of the fans,” she said while acknowledging the attendance record set for the day. 

Redshirt junior Valerie Cagle started in the circle for the Tigers. She let up two runs and four hits in her 4.0 innings pitched but also threw seven strikeouts for a 0.86 ERA. In the final inning, Cagle was relieved by junior Regan Spencer, who threw two strikeouts and allowed no hits.

While Rittman said Cagle is not in “mid-season form” yet, he added that Cagle’s performance was one to be proud of. 

“We have a pitching staff, and certainly, Valerie is so capable right now. For her to strike out seven against that lineup is a pretty good day.” 

Clemson is now 7-0 and will face Northwestern and Ohio State in a doubleheader on Saturday, with another Ohio State matchup set for Sunday at McWhorter Stadium.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kiley Bouchard
Kiley Bouchard, Senior Reporter
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *