Photos by Patrick Boling, Clemson Athletics
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Clemson Softball’s historic second season came to an end on Sunday in the final contest of the Alabama Regional. After winning the ACC regular season title in their first opportunity to do so, the Tigers fell to the No. 3 Crimson Tide 5-0 at Rhoads Stadium on Sunday afternoon, eliminating them from their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
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The Tigers’ success was highlighted by the exceptional performance of the ACC Player of the Year Valerie Cagle, who finished the season with a 1.17 ERA and a team-leading 17 home runs. In the process, she notched 262 strikeouts and batted in 45 runs. She left the circle in the seventh inning to a standing ovation by Clemson and Alabama fans alike. Millie Thompson retired the final Alabama batter in relief.
Third-ranked Alabama got on the scoreboard early, when a first-inning sac fly gave the hosting team a 1-0 advantage. The Crimson Tide added three runs in the next frame thanks to a Taylor Clark home run, and that 4-0 lead proved more than enough for the stellar Alabama defense that robbed the Tiger offense of hits all afternoon.
Clemson advanced to the regional final on the back of Cagle in the circle and Alia Logoleo at the plate, who was 4-for-11 with four RBI’s in the regional. Logoleo did not finish Sunday’s contest after being hit by a pitch in the second inning.
The Tigers concluded their first full season 44-8 and 29-5 in ACC play.
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