CLEMSON — Thursday was not the impression the fourth-ranked Clemson Tigers wanted to make in their top 10 matchup with No. 6 Florida State at McWhorter Stadium.
The Tigers fell to 0-3 against top 10 foes this season, dropping both games in Thursday’s doubleheader to the Seminoles, including a 4-1 loss in the nightcap. Counting Clemson’s 1-0 loss to No. 5 Tennessee on Feb. 24, the Tigers went 17 innings without scoring a run against top 10 foes.
The Tigers (37-3, 12-2 ACC) dropped Game 1 of the doubleheader 7-0.
“It was a tough day at the office. Obviously, we did not play our best today,” Clemson head coach John Rittman said. “You cannot do that against a very good team like Florida State.”
Valerie Cagle broke the scoreless streak with a bomb to right field to start the bottom frame of the fourth inning. At the time, that cut Florida State’s lead to 3-1. It was Cagle’s 14th home run of the season.
But that is all Clemson got. Seminoles pitching limited the Tigers to a combined seven hits in the two games. Makenna Reid, Ali DuBois and Kathryn Sandercock combined to hold the Tigers to two hits in Game 1.
Sandercock pitched a complete game to earn the win in the circle in Game 2. Clemson was a combined 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-18 with runners on base.
“I think it was a little bit of chasing pitches and good pitchers will make you do that,” Rittman said. “I think they had a great strategy in the first game of keeping us off balance with three different pitchers. Certainly, Sandercock in the second game is a very capable pitcher and she kept us off balance.”
In Game 2, the Seminoles (31-7, 10-1 ACC) got on the board first in the top of third when Devyn Flaherty ran out a ground ball to short, scoring Katie Dack, who singled up the middle to start the inning.
The Tigers got a two-out double to left field in the bottom frame of the third from Clark, but second baseman Maddie Moore struck out swinging on three straight pitches.
“We have to do a good job of adjusting,” Rittman said. “I know we will. Sometimes, when we have not faced a pitcher in a while, and we have seen her, and then the next time we did a little bit better against her.”
FSU extend its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Jahni Kerr singled to right to bring home Hallie Wacaser, while Josie Muffley recorded an RBI sac fly to right field.
Kerr earned her second RBI of the evening when she hit a solo shot to right on the first pitch from reliever Brooke McCubbin to start the sixth inning. That extended the Seminoles lead to 4-1 at the time.
“A lot of credit goes to Florida State, tonight. They played really well. They did not make a lot of mistakes and capitalized on our mistakes,” Rittman said.
Clemson’s Millie Thompson was charged with the loss in Game 2. It was Thompson’s first loss of the year in 12 games.
Game 1: Florida State scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning and then broke the game open with four in the sixth, as the Seminoles rolled to a 7-0 victory over the Tigers in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Cagle suffered the loss, just her second in 20 decisions this year. The loss also snapped Clemson’s 29-game home winning streak and 23-game win streak overall.
Stat of the Game: Clemson managed just one run and seven hits in 14 innings on Thursday.
Player of the Game: Kerr finished the second game 3-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs and a home run.
Key Moment: FSU extend its lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning when Kerr singled to right to bring home Hallie Wacaser, while Josie Muffley recorded an RBI sac fly to right field to score Kerr.
Up Next: Clemson and Florida State are scheduled to play the final game of their three-game series Friday at 7 p.m.Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw, recruiting analyst Jason Priester and staff writer Will Vandervort on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!
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