CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson Tigers plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to help propel them to a 7-0 victory against the Auburn Tigers in the second game of the 2023 Clemson Regional. Clemson outhit Auburn 10-1, that included home runs from McKenzie Clark and Valerie Cagle, as Clemson picked up its 19th shutout.
With two of the best pitchers in the country, neither side was surprised by the pitchers’ duel that was brewing between Clemson’s Cagle and Auburn’s Maddie Penta. In a rematch of the second game of the 2022 Clemson Regional, both pitchers were locked in and prevented the opposition from scoring through the first two and a half innings.
In the bottom of the third, Clark launched her 12th home run of the year over the centerfield fence to break the scoreless tie and give the Clemson Tigers the 1-0 lead. Neither team scored in the fourth and Cagle helped herself with a 1-2-3 top of the fifth to keep Auburn off the board.
In the bottom of the fifth, JoJo Hyatt singled to right and the pinch runner Julia Bomhardt stole second and advanced to third on a flyout. Clark was hit by a pitch and stole second base, then Ally Miklesh singled up the middle to score Clark and Bomhardt and give Clemson a 3-0 lead. On the second pitch of her at bat, Cagle homered off the left-field foul pole to push the lead to 5-0. Alia Logoleo plated Caroline Jacobsen two batters later to give the Clemson Tigers the six-run lead.
Cagle continued to deal, needing only four pitches to end the top of the sixth, before Reedy Davenport drove in Clemson’s seventh run of the day in the bottom of the inning to push the lead to 7-0. Cagle struck out two batters in the top of the seventh to complete the shutout.
Cagle threw her 21st complete game of 2023 to improve to 24-5 on the year. Through her seven innings of work, she allowed only one hit while striking out four to bring her season total to 180.
Following the win, Clemson will await its opponent based on the results of the final two games today. Clemson will be the designated away team for a noon first pitch.