TAMPA, Fla. – The No. 5/5 Clemson Tigers tallied a program record with seven stolen bases en route to earning their 13th victory of the season with a 9-2 win against Illinois-Chicago (0-10) on Friday afternoon. The seven stolen bases surpass the previous mark of six set against Winthrop in 2021. Junior McKenzie Clark tied a program record held by herself and Sam Russ (2022) with three individual stolen bases, while Ally Miklesh added two and Maddie Moore and Julia Bomhardt stole one each.
Clark also had a day at the plate as her and graduate Reedy Davenport led the team with two hits apiece. Clark added a team-high three RBI, while Davenport and redshirt junior Valerie Cagle contributed two. Miklesh rounded out the group, scoring three runs.
The Flames scored in the top of the second inning after the leadoff batter hit a double, advanced on a sac bunt and then scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers responded in the bottom half of the second as Alia Logoleo led off with a single and advanced to second as Aby Vieira was ruled out at first. She took advantage of a wild pitch to advance to third, and JoJo Hyatt drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out.
Graduate Ally Miklesh picked up an RBI single as a slap hitter with a bouncer to the first baseman that scored Logoleo and advanced Bomhardt, who was pinch running for Hyatt, to second. Both Bomhardt and Miklesh stole second and third to move into scoring position for Reedy Davenport to hit a single into center field and advance to third on a fielding error to make it 3-1 in favor of the Tigers. Clemson added one more run in the second as McKenzie Clark reached on a throwing error to first that brought home Davenport.
Illinois-Chicago got one run back in the top of the third after a throwing error got two aboard and the runner was able to score on a squeeze play.
Clemson bounced back with a big fourth inning after the team combined for four stolen bases. Miklesh led off getting hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third as Davenport reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Clark reached on a fielder’s choice to the first baseman that had Miklesh sliding under the attempted tag. Clark stole second to put runners on second and third. Maddie Moore reached on a fielder’s choice that put Davenport in a rundown between third and home. Davenport was tagged out, but Clark took third and then quickly stole home before UIC could grasp what was happening. As Clark stole home, Moore stole third to be in scoring position for Valerie Cagle to pick up an RBI and make it 7-2 in Clemson’s favor.
The Tigers added two additional runs in the bottom of the sixth after Miklesh drew a walk, Davenport singled to right field to advance her to third and Clark singled to the shortstop to bring her home. Cagle picked up her second RBI of the day to bring home Ansley Houston, who was pinch running for Davenport. The Tigers picked up a quick three outs in the top of the seventh to capture the win, 9-2.
Junior Regan Spencer started in the circle for the Tigers and pitched 4.0 innings with one strikeout to earn her second victory of 2023. Sophomore Brooke McCubbin threw the final 3.0 innings and struck out two batters to help secure the win.
Clemson is back in action for a doubleheader on Saturday morning taking on Michigan State at 9 a.m. and No. 12/9 Tennessee at 11:30 a.m. Fans can listen to the Michigan State broadcast on the Clemson Athletic Network. Fans can find the most direct link to listen by downloading the Clemson Tigers App through the app store or by visiting this radio link. The game against the Lady Vols at 11:30 a.m. will be broadcast on ACCNX.