Photos by Alana McCallion, Clemson Athletics
CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson Head Coach John Rittman earned his 800th career win in a 4-3 victory, which went nine innings, over Boston College in game No. 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader at McWhorter Stadium. The Tigers walked off to win their 11th straight contest in the bottom of the ninth on an errant throw from the BC shortstop to third base, with nobody covering the bag, as the ball then rolled into the Eagles’ dugout, which resulted in Clemson’s Jaden Cheek being awarded a free base, allowing her to score from third to end the game.
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With the win, the Tigers improved 31-4 overall and 21-4 in ACC play and clinched their fifth ACC series of the season. Boston College fell to 8-24 overall and 4-16 in league games.
Clemson ace Valerie Cagle (19-3) earned the win after entering Saturday’s second game in relief of Regan Spencer in the bottom of the fifth with the score, 3-1, and one out. Cagle and the Clemson defense went on to hold the Eagles scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Boston College struck first in the top of the third on an RBI-single to left-center field. Clemson tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on an error by the Eagles’ left fielder, which allowed Cammy Pereira to score from second.
The Eagles regained the lead, 2-1, in the top of the fourth on an infield RBI-single to shortstop. BC extended its lead to 3-1 on a homer to right field in the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Eagles recorded their second single of the inning on a hit up the middle with two outs and a runner on second base, but Clemson center fielder McKenzie Clark made a miraculous throw to the plate as Clemson catcher JoJo Hyatt tagged the runner out to save a run, end the inning and shift momentum in the Tigers’ favor. In the bottom half of the inning, Clemson came back to tie the game, 3-3, after an error on an infield fly rule allowed Ansley Gilstrap to score from third. Then, Clemson’s Grace Mattimore laid down a successful squeeze bunt as the Eagles pitcher could not get Cagle out in time at the plate, a play that resulted in a tied score.
The Tigers set the stage for the final play of the game after Kyah Keller pinch hit and singled to the 5-6 hole. Then, Pereira hit the ball through the Boston College first baseman’s legs, which allowed Cheek, who was pinch running for Keller to advance to second before a single from Clark followed by an Eagles’ throwing error ended the game.
Mr. 8️⃣0️⃣0️⃣Congratulations, @rittmanjohn‼️We’re looking forward to many more wins to come!! pic.twitter.com/kzn1Da1h6j— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) April 17, 2021
We’re looking forward to many more wins to come!! pic.twitter.com/kzn1Da1h6j
— Clemson Softball 🥎 (@clemsonsoftball) April 17, 2021
Up next, the Tigers and Boston College round out the four-game series at McWhorter Stadium on Sunday at noon. Sunday’s contest is slated to stream on ACCNX.
For complete coverage of the Tiger softball team, follow @ClemsonSoftball on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.