BLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 6/6 Clemson Tigers hit four home runs on Saturday afternoon but ultimately dropped the first two games of the series to No. 21/24 Virginia Tech, 5-4 and 3-1. Following the losses, Clemson drops to 44-8 (17-6 ACC), while the Hokies improve to 35-16 (14-9 ACC).
The Tigers tallied 11 hits between the two games, including home runs from Caroline Jacobsen, Reedy Davenport, Maddie Moore and Jadeyn Ruszkowski.
Game 1 – L, 4-5
Action began on Friday afternoon with Clemson getting runners on in the first two innings of play. In the second inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs but weren’t able to capitalize as a pop up ended their half of the inning. Clemson was able to retire Virginia Tech in order in the bottom half of the second right as the skies opened up with rain resulting in the game being halted in the top of the third with a 0-0 tie.
Returning to action on Saturday, Jacobsen wasted no time putting the Tigers on the board. With two outs in the top of the third, she drove the payoff pitch out of left center for a solo home run, her 11th homer of the season, to give Clemson a 1-0 lead. Much like the third inning, Clemson worked its way through the lineup to Davenport, who sailed her fourth homer of the year out of left field to double the Tigers’ lead, 2-0.
Clemson’s offense continued to showcase its power in the fifth inning as Jacobsen drew a two-out walk, and Moore once again doubled the Tigers’ lead with a homer out of left field. This home run was Moore’s ninth of the year and pushed Clemson’s lead to 4-0. The Hokies made an attempt to get a run back in the bottom half of the inning after putting runners on the corners with no outs. Cagle picked up a quick strike out in the circle, and the Tigers turned a 463 double play to end the inning unscathed.
The Tigers made a push to add an additional run in the seventh, as Cagle put herself on a 10-game hitting streak with a shot up the middle, and Jacobsen drew another walk, but Clemson would leave both runners stranded. Virginia Tech would cut Clemson’s lead in half with a two-run homer. The Hokies would take game one with a three-run homer as Clemson fell, 5-4.
In the circle, Cagle pitched her 19th-complete game. The redshirt junior struck out five as she dropped to 22-5 on the year.
Game 2 – L, 1-3
Clemson tried to put the pressure on early getting runners on second and third in the top of the first. The Hokies got the Tigers into a rundown as the runner attempted to come home and were able to get the tag before Clemson could score. It was Virginia Tech that struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring three runs to take the lead.
The Tigers responded in the top of the next inning as Ruszkowski, who entered the game for Clark in the first, drove the first pitch of her at bat out of left center for her first home run in the Orange and Regalia.
Clemson looked to add to its total after loading the bases in the top of the sixth with two outs. Alia Logoleo reached on a fielder’s choice and was joined by JoJo Hyatt and Davenport who hit back-to-back singles. The Hokies’ pitcher picked up the final out with a strikeout to end the inning and allow VT to maintain the 3-1 advantage, which held for the remainder of the game.
Junior Millie Thompson started in the circle for the Tigers. She pitched 3.2 innings with one strikeout and allowed only one earned run but dropped to 13-2 on the year. Thompson was replaced by sophomore Brooke McCubbin in the fourth inning. McCubbin pitched the final 2.1 innings.
The Tigers and Hokies will conclude the weekend series on Sunday, April 30. Action is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on ACCNX.