Clemson rallied from a five-run deficit Sunday with 15 unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings to beat St. John’s, 19-9, to close out the UCF Black & Gold Softball Tournament in Orlando.
Trailing 9-4 after five innings, the Tigers rallied by scoring three runs in the top of sixth and then 12 runs in the top of the seventh inning to complete the dramatic comeback at the UCF Softball Complex in Orlando.
MK Bonamy tallied two hits and 6 RBIs in the decisive seventh inning, including a grand slam with two outs.
With the bases loaded and one out in the seventh, Bonamy singled up the middle to score Morgan Johnson and Abi Stuart to tie the game. Then Marissa Guimbarda singled up the middle to drive in Cammy Pereira with the go-ahead run, giving the Tigers a 10-9 lead.
Clemson added nine more runs after Guimbarda’s game-winning hit, closing the seventh with 12 runs on eight hits and three St. John’s errors. Bonamy hit her grand slam with two outs to put the icing on the cake and to close out the scoring.
The win snapped the Tigers’ three-game skid and it was their second win over the Red Storm in the tournament. Clemson improves to 2-3 on the year. The Tigers will host Western Carolina in a doubleheader on Wednesday as the program makes its home debut at the Clemson Softball Stadium. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. The second game is set to begin at 5 p.m.
The Tigers got on the board first on Sunday when Valerie Cagle led off the game with sole home run to centerfield. Grace Mattimore then drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded to score Bonamy, making the score 2-0 Tigers at the end of the first.
After St. John’s scored a run in the bottom of the first inning, Clemson extended its lead to 4-1 in the third. With one out, Mattimore doubled to left centerfield to bring home Bailey Taylor and Arielle Oda.
However, the Red Storm answered with a run in the bottom of third and then added three runs in the fourth to grab its first lead of the game at 5-4. They scored four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a commanding 9-4 lead.
But the Tigers were not done.
Stuart led off the top of the sixth inning with a home run to centerfield and then Guimbarda doubled to left center with one out to score Cagle and Carlee Shannon. Clemson left runners at second and third, but the three-run inning cut St. John’s lead to two at 9-7 and set the stage for the seventh inning.
The Tigers then went off on St. John’s pitching in the seventh with its 12 runs. In all, Clemson brought 15 batters to the plate in the seventh inning.
Bonamy led the Tigers with a 3-for-5 day at the plate to go with her 6 RBIs, including were grand slam in the seventh. Guimnarda drove in three runs and was 2-for-5, while Mattimore had 4 RBIs and was 2-for-3.
Johnson also had two hits and was credited with 2 RBIs, while Stuart was 2-for-3 with 2 runs batted in. Cagle went 2-for-5 and scored three times, including her solo homer in the first.
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–photo courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications