CLEMSON, S.C. – For the second time in her collegiate career, pitcher/utility Valerie Cagle has been named a National FastPitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American, the organization announced Wednesday. This marks the third-straight season that Cagle has earned All-America honors after being a first team selection in 2022 and second team honoree in 2021. Cagle was one of six unanimous selections to the first team, and this honor is announced the day following Cagle being selected as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Cagle is also a Rawlings Gold Glove recipient at pitcher.
NFCA Release | Rawlings Gold Glove Video | Valerie Cagle 2023 Stats
Adding to the long list of her awards this season, Cagle helped the Tigers to another standout season starting in all 61 games. At the plate, she tallied a program-record 83 hits, including 19 home runs, 15 doubles and one triple to post a .469 average. The reigning ACC Player of the Year tallied 25 multi-hit and 17 multi-RBI games to finish the year with 57 RBIs and a nation leading 157 total bases. With a .887 slugging percentage and .565 on-base percentage, she drew 36 walks and scored 50 runs. A three-time ACC Player of the Week and a Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week selection, Cagle finished the Clemson Regional with five hits, four RBIs, four runs scored and eight walks, as well as going 3-for-4 in the opening game of the Super Regional at Oklahoma.
Also excelling in the circle, the Yorktown, Virginia native pitched 193 innings over the course of 38 appearances. She maintained a 1.56 ERA and struck out 188 batters while limiting opponents to a .182 average. She earned 25 wins and contributed three saves while posting eight solo shutouts. Earlier this season, Cagle threw the program’s first perfect game, tossing five innings with eight strikeouts against Mercer. She also threw an immaculate inning needing only nine pitches to strikeout all three batters in the second inning at Georgia Tech. The three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week struck out a season-high 12 batters against North Carolina in the ACC Tournament.
Cagle becomes the first Tiger to earn Gold Glove honors, receiving the recognition at pitcher. She is the second player to be awarded the honor at pitcher as the softball Gold Glove was awarded for the first time in 2022.
Cagle is one of four ACC student-athletes to be named to the All-America list and the lone ACC player to earn first team accolades and be awarded a Rawlings Gold Glove. The All-American honor is added to Cagle’s other 2023 awards that includes a First Team All-ACC nod, selected to the ACC All-Tournament Team, D1Softball First Team All-American and being named an NFCA All-Regional Southeast First Team selection.
Only players who were selected to All-Region teams were eligible for consideration at the All-American level. Each All-American team is comprised of 18 players, including: three pitchers, one catcher, one first base, one second base, one third base, one shortstop, three outfielders, one utility/pitcher, one utility/non-pitcher and five at-large positions. At-large positions were nominated by the NFCA All-Region committee representatives.