Clemson, SC– Due to a rainout of Friday’s game, the No. 4 Clemson Tigers softball team took on the Syracuse Orange in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 4th. The series against Syracuse opens up ACC play for the Tigers this season. The Tigers dominated Syracuse in all aspects of the game, cruising to victory in both matchups versus the Orange, improving their record to 19-1 on the season. Clemson would win game one 4-1 before clinching game two 8-0 via the run rule in the fifth inning.
Game 1: Valerie Cagle began the game in the pitching circle for the Tigers and continued her commanding start on the year by striking out five of the first nine batters faced on the day. Cagle ended the day with eight strikeouts, giving up only three hits.
The action picked up in the bottom of the third inning, with the Tigers scoring their first run of the series on a homerun by Maddie Moore. Valerie Cagle came up to bat immediately after Moore and hit a home run of her own, making the lead 2-0 Clemson.
Syracuse responded in the top of the sixth inning, scoring a run of their own, making the score 2-1 Clemson. Not to be outdone, the Tigers answered in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs. Alia Logoleo and Aby Vieira reached base on singles before a triple from Arielle Oda would bring both home to score, stretching the lead to 4-1.
The Tiger offense found just enough to finish the first game, scoring a pair of runs in the third and sixth innings to close out game one of the doubleheader. However, the defense was the story of the day as Cagle stymied the Syracuse bats, and a solid effort from the field held the Orange to one run in the first matchup.
Game 2: Clemson carried the momentum into the day’s second game, scoring three runs in the first inning. After a pair of walks to McKenzie Clark and Valerie Cagle, Alia Logoleo doubled to right-center field, allowing Clark and Cagle to score. Arielle Oda singled through the right side, which brought home Logoleo to score before Oda was thrown out at second base to end the first inning with the score 3-0 Tigers.
The third inning began with McKenzie Clark reaching base on balls. Then, Maddie Moore would reach base after being hit by a pitch. Next, Caroline Jacobsen singled to center field, loading the bases. Alia Logoleo doubled to center field, scoring Clark and Moore and advancing Jacobsen to third, making the score 5-0 Clemson.
Ally Miklesh started the fourth inning by bunting for a single. McKenzie Clark hit a triple and scored on a throwing error. Maddie Moore reached base on balls and stole second. Valerie Cagle continued her strong start on the day with a single through the right side of the infield, bringing the score 8-0.
Junior Millie Thompson earned the start in the pitching circle for game two of the doubleheader. Thompson gave up four hits and struck out three in a complete game effort, her fourth of the year. Thompson was incredibly efficient from the pitching circle throwing fifty-one total pitches, forty-one of which were strikes.
Up next: Clemson finishes its series against Syracuse Sunday, March 5th, at noon.