Photos by Patrick Boling, Clemson Athletics
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In the program’s 69th game, the Clemson Softball team (38-4, 27-4 ACC) secured its 18th consecutive victory, setting the Clemson record for the longest winning streak by any women’s program in school history, after defeating Syracuse (19-21, 11-18 ACC) by a final score of 4-2 at Skytop Softball Stadium in Syracuse, New York on Friday afternoon.
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Offensively, the Tigers were led by Cammy Pereira, who went 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and one run scored, and McKenzie Clark, who ripped a two-run homer to give Clemson its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third.
Clemson righty ace Valerie Cagle (24-3) earned the win in the circle and tossed her 22nd complete game of the season. Cagle tallied 10 strikeouts, including four caught looking, while surrendering two runs on two solo homers. She also went 2-for-3 in the batter’s box and extended her hitting streak to 18 games. Syracuse’s Alexa Romero (7-9) suffered the loss and also went the distance.
The Orange took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo shot to center field, but the Tigers responded in their half of the third as Clark’s ninth homer of the season gave Clemson a 2-1 lead. Then, the Orange homered again off of Cagle in the bottom of the third to even the score, 2-2. Prior to Friday’s game, Cagle had not surrendered two home runs or more in a single game, a streak that spanned across 51 consecutive appearances.
Pereira’s second hit of the game came in the top of the fourth on an RBI-single through the right side, which broke the 2-2 tie.
Cagle got out of another jam in the bottom of the sixth and then went first-pitch swinging in the bottom of the seventh to secure her second hit of the day on a single up the middle. Then, Marissa Guimbarda posted her first hit of the game before Morgan Johnson’s first hit added an insurance run for the Tigers, extending their lead 4-2. The game ended on a 5-3 double-play as Casey Bigham collected a hard-hit ground ball before stepping on the third base bag and throwing out the Orange runner at first.
Up next, the Tigers and Syracuse are slated to return to action at Skytop Softball Stadium for a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. Both games are scheduled to stream on ACCNX.
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