Photos by Patrick Boling, Clemson Athletics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cammy Pereira’s pair of solo home runs to right-center field were enough for Clemson ace Valerie Cagle and the Tigers to secure a 2-0 victory over Georgia Tech in the program’s ACC Tournament opener. Cagle (25-4), the ACC Player of the Year, threw her 10th complete-game shutout and matched her career-high 14 strikeouts as the Tigers advanced to the ACC semifinal. With the victory, Clemson secured the win to improve 41-5 overall on the season.
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Pereira’s second-inning shot proved the decisive one, but for good measure the Clemson infielder blasted her second of the game and third of the season, all of which have come against Georgia Tech, in the sixth inning to give the Clemson ace an insurance run headed into the final frame. Cagle ultimately only needed Periera’s first bell-ringer to advance her team in the tournament.
The Yellow Jackets managed to load the bases in the sixth inning, but Cagle ended the threat with her 12th strikeout of the game. Georgia Tech threatened once more in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second, but she recorded her career-high-tying fourteenth strikeout for the second out, and retired the final batter on her 118th pitch of the game. Cagle previously recorded her career-best 14 strikeouts earlier in the season in two of the Tigers’ four games against Louisville, also at Ulmer Stadium.
Up next, the Tigers take on the winner of fourth-seeded Virginia Tech (32-12, 23-11 ACC) and fifth-seeded Notre Dame (31-12, 20-10 ACC) at 1 p.m. on Friday. Friday’s semifinal will broadcast on ACC Network. The Hokies and Fighting Irish are set to square off at 1:30 p.m. on ACC Network.
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