STILLWATER, Okla. – The 10-seed Clemson softball team battled against a well-established 7-seed Oklahoma State team for seven innings, but dropped the opening game of the Stillwater Super Regional, 2-0. The Tigers (42-16) are playing in their first super regional of program history and now face Oklahoma State on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. ET, looking to force a third and final game in the series.
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It started as a pitcher’s duel between Clemson’s Millie Thompson and Oklahoma State’s Kelly Maxwell, as neither was allotting much work to be done on the base paths. Both sides traded runners getting on through the first three innings, but neither were able to capitalize and score after each advanced runners to third in the third.
The fourth inning began with Valerie Cagle, for whom Carlee Shannon pinch ran, dropping a single into right center. With one out, freshman Aby Vieira sent a pitch back up the middle. Oklahoma State was credited with a double play as Shannon was ruled for interference heading into second to end the Tiger threat. Clemson’s defense battled back in the bottom half of the inning to pick up three quick outs, as Thompson only threw four pitches to keep things tied at 0-0.
The Cowgirls took the lead in the fifth after leading off with a double and advancing the runner to third off a sac bunt. A walk from Thompson and a stolen base put runners on second and third, and a single up the middle by Chyenne Factor plated the game’s only runs. The Cowgirls would go on to load the bases, but the Tigers were able to get out of the inning with a great defensive catch from Alia Logoleo in shallow left field and a forced ground out up the middle to keep Oklahoma State at a two-run advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Vieira made an incredible diving catch behind the plate to pick up a big out for the Tigers. She followed that with the next two outs as she caught a popped foul and then made the throw to second to get the runner attempting to steal.
The Tigers looked to rally in the seventh inning as Marissa Guimbarda notched a single to the Cowgirls’ third baseman, but Clemson left the runner stranded to end the game.
Thompson pitched her 10th complete game of the season as she fell to 15-4 on the year. The sophomore picked up two strikeouts against 27 batters faced.
Photos courtesy of Matt Kamph, Clemson Athletics