Fort Myers, Fla. – The No. 15/14 Clemson softball team plated 11 runs en route to a five-inning shutout victory against Florida Gulf Coast at the FGCU Softball Complex on Thursday evening. With the victory, the Tigers open their 2022 slate 1-0, as FGCU moves to 1-1 on the year.
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Graduate Cammy Pereira (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and redshirt sophomore Valerie Cagle (Yorktown, Va.) both went yard in the Tiger’s opener to help clinch the win. Pereira hit a solo bomb in her first at bat of the 2022 season to leadoff the second inning. Cagle’s three-run homer over the right-field fence happened in the top of the fifth to extend an already run-filled inning.
“It was a great win tonight to start the season,” said head coach John Rittman. “Our team did an awesome job coming out and being ready to play tonight. Valerie was phenomenal for us in the circle, and Cammy had the first big hit with the home run in the second inning to give us a cushion. We competed very well up and down our lineup tonight at the plate. You never know what you’re going to get in the first game of the year, but I’m really impressed with our effort tonight. Coming out with a victory to start the season is always nice.”
Photos by Charissa Coleman, Clemson Athletics
Cagle led the Tigers from the plate going 3-for-4 with a single, double and home run. She brought in six RBIs and scored one run of her own. The redshirt sophomore also dominated the circle, pitching 4.0 innings with seven strikeouts to earn her first victory of 2022.
Following Cagle at the plate was sophomore McKenzie Clark (Myakka City, Fla.), who finished 2-for-3 with four runs scored and two RBIs. Marissa Guimbarda (Suwanee, Ga.), Alia Logoleo (Nashville, Tenn.) and Pereira rounded out Clemson’s 11 RBIs on the night. Besides Clark, graduate transfer Sam Russ was the only Tiger to cross home multiple times, scoring two runs in her first appearance in the Orange and Regalia.
Freshman Brooke McCubbin (Locust Grove, Ga.) made her first appearance as a Tiger in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter and drew a walk. She then entered the circle and picked up her first strikeout to cap the Tiger’s victory.
Clemson continues opening weekend action Friday, Feb. 11 with a doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m. against Kent State. The Tigers follow that with a top-15 matchup when No. 15/14 Clemson takes on No. 10/8 Texas at 5 p.m.