DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 17/15 Clemson softball team dropped the opening game against the No. 13/8 Duke Blue Devils, 6-2, on Friday night at the Duke Softball Stadium. Sophomore McKenzie Clark led the Tigers going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, including hitting her second home run of the season.
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With the loss, Clemson falls to 18-7 overall and 0-4 in ACC action as Duke improves to 22-3 overall (7-0 ACC).
Clark came out swinging in the leadoff position driving the first pitch of the game down the left field line for a double. Clark advanced to third as Sam Russ was called out at first base to put Clark in a position to head home on a passed ball during Marissa Guimbarda’s at bat to give the Tigers the early 1-0 lead.
The Blue Devils evened things up in the bottom of the second with a solo home run and claimed the lead in the fifth to hold a 6-1 advantage over the Tigers.
Clark responded for the Tigers in the sixth by leading off the inning with her second home run of the season, the first to exit the ballpark.
Clemson made a final push in the seventh inning that started with Cammy Pereira dropping a single over the pitcher’s head. She advanced to third off a two-out single from JoJo Hyatt up the middle, but Duke was able to get the final out to cap the game, 6-2.
Clemson returns to the field tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. for a rematch against Duke.