Photos by Makenna Biehl, Clemson Athletics
CLEMSON, S.C. — With bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, Clemson catcher JoJo Hyatt knocked in a pair of go-ahead runs on a single up the middle as the Tigers went on to down No. 11 Duke, 4-2, at McWhorter Stadium on Sunday afternoon. With the win, Clemson split the series (2-2) with the Blue Devils and improved to 22-4 on the season and 14-4 in ACC play. Duke, which was on a 20-game winning streak entering the latter half of the series, fell to 26-3 overall and 14-3 in league matchups.
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🎙 Head Coach John Rittman (@rittmanjohn) sounds off on today's win over No. 11 Duke… pic.twitter.com/keiuXRP20U— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) March 28, 2021
🎙 Head Coach John Rittman (@rittmanjohn) sounds off on today's win over No. 11 Duke… pic.twitter.com/keiuXRP20U
— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) March 28, 2021
Clemson lefty Millie Thompson (3-1) earned the win in the circle after pitching 6.0 innings in which she surrendered just two earned runs and registered three strikeouts. Valerie Cagle entered in relief of Thompson to collect her fourth save of the season after retiring three-of-four batters faced in the top of the seventh.
Duke’s starting pitcher Shelby Walters (10-1) suffered her first loss of the season after giving up four runs (one unearned) on six hits and four walks in 4.1 innings pitched. Walters’ last loss was against NC State in a 5-4 decision on April 21, 2019.
The Blue Devils scored first in the top of the third on an infield single that was hit to the 3-4 hole, which allowed enough time for the Duke runner to slide under the tag on the throw from first to home plate.
After Cagle registered her second intentional walk of the game in the bottom of the third, Marissa Guimbarda (2-for-4) roped a two-RBI double down the left-field line to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
After intentionally walking Valerie Cagle, Marissa Guimbarda "MAKES 'EM PAY!" 🙌🙌🙌We lead it, 2-1.📺 ACCNX (https://t.co/NnzVhKV4xz) pic.twitter.com/jK5ReEzt5n— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) March 28, 2021
After intentionally walking Valerie Cagle, Marissa Guimbarda "MAKES 'EM PAY!" 🙌🙌🙌
We lead it, 2-1.
📺 ACCNX (https://t.co/NnzVhKV4xz) pic.twitter.com/jK5ReEzt5n
The Blue Devils tied the game in the top of the fifth, 2-2, on a sacrifice-fly to left field to score the runner from third base.
Blue Devils’ ace Peyton St George relieved Walters in the bottom of the fifth, inheriting a bases-loaded situation one batter before Hyatt came to the plate to bring in Clemson’s pair of game-winning runs. In the midst of Hyatt’s RBI-single up the middle in the bottom of the inning, a throwing error by the Duke center fielder caused the ball to bounce past the Blue Devils’ catcher and ricochet off the backstop, which allowed Ansley Gilstrap to score to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
Gilstrap finished Sunday’s contest 2-for-2 at the plate with one run scored.
JoJo (@hannahjo_hyatt) CLUTCH 🙌Her single up the middle scores two to give us the lead in the bottom of the fifth‼️📺 ACCNX (https://t.co/NnzVhKV4xz) pic.twitter.com/EfJPSvLDa1— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) March 28, 2021
JoJo (@hannahjo_hyatt) CLUTCH 🙌
Her single up the middle scores two to give us the lead in the bottom of the fifth‼️
📺 ACCNX (https://t.co/NnzVhKV4xz) pic.twitter.com/EfJPSvLDa1
Up next, the Tigers are scheduled to return to McWhorter Stadium to host North Carolina (10-8, 6-3 ACC) in a four-game series (April 1-3), which begins Thursday at 5 p.m. Next week’s series against the Tar Heels is slated to stream on ACCNX. North Carolina announced the postponement of its last two weekend series against Florida State and Georgia Tech, respectively, due to COVID-19 protocols within the UNC program.
For complete coverage of the Tiger softball team, follow @ClemsonSoftball on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.