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Mar 20, 2024

Clemson Drops 12-Inning Showdown to Gamecocks

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson Softball battled back to force extras, but ultimately fell to South Carolina, 6-4, in 12 innings. The extra-inning loss drops the No. 11/11 Tigers to 21-7 on the year, while the No. 23/25 Gamecocks improve to 22-7.

Clemson finished with 12 hits, including two from both McKenzie Clark and Grace Hiller. Clark also led the Tigers with two RBIs, while Alex Brown and Alia Logoleo clocked one apiece.

Regan Spencer started in her third game in the last week. She threw 68 pitches in five innings of work with two strikeouts. The Gamecocks got on the board early with Spencer in the circle, taking a 2-0 lead after they capitalized on a throwing error by the Tigers. Both runs were unearened.

Clark responded with a two-run homer sent 255 feet out of right field in the bottom half of the inning to even things at two-all. Her home run in the first inning marked the fifth first-inning homer the Tigers have hit in the last four games dating back to the North Carolina series opener. It also marked the ninth homer Clemson has hit all-time against the Gamecocks in only the sixth meeting between the two programs.

South Carolina reclaimed the lead in the top of the third off a solo home run that would hold the Gamecocks’ lead until the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Freshman Kylee Johnson spurred the Tigers in the sixth with a single to kickoff the inning. After Arielle Oda drew a walk and Clark singled to the second baseman, Clemson had the bases loaded with only one out to bring Logoleo to the plate. Logoleo sent the second pitch of her at bat deep into center for a sac fly that plated Johnson from third to make it three-all. 

Following great defensive work by the Tigers in the top of the seventh, and a lights-out pitching performance by left-handed relief pitcher Millie Thompson, the Tigers shut down the Gamecocks’ chance of rebuttal. Clemson got one runner on off a fielding error by South Carolina in the bottom of the seventh, but would leave her stranded as Clemson headed to its fifth extra-inning game of 2024 with the ballgame tied, 3-3.

Clemson had its best look to score in the 10th inning after Hiller notched a one-out double into the gap in left center. Johnson followed with a walk, but South Carolina ended the inning with back-to-back outs to leave a runners stranded at first and third. Thompson followed in the top of the 11th with two strikeouts, including one to end the inning, for her sixth of the game and to keep it even at 3-3.

South Carolina claimed the lead in the top of the 12th. With the bases loaded, a slow roller allowed for a run to score, and the Gamecocks added two insurance runs before the Tigers could end the inning. Clemson attempted to push back in the bottom half of the inning after Aby Vieira reached on a fielding error by South Carolina’s shortstop, and Hiller tallied her second hit of the evening with a shot to left field to put two on with two out. Alex Brown came up with an RBI single to score Julia Bomhardt, who was running for Vieira, from second, but the Gamecocks were able to pick up the final out to win, 6-4.

Thompson finished her outing with 6.1 innings pitched. She threw 78 pitches (60 strikes) with seven strikeouts, one shy of her season high, but falls to 4-1 on the season. Junior Brooke McCubbin pitched the final 0.2 innings.                                                                               

Up Next

The Tigers hit the road for their first ACC road series by traveling to Charlottesville, Va. Clemson will open the three-game series at Virginia on Friday, March 22 at 6 p.m. on ACC Network. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on ACC Network with the series finale on Sunday at noon on ACCNX.