Clemson mercy rules Pitt 9-1, improves to 4-0 in ACC play
Bailey Taylor drove in three runs including a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning as Clemson beat Pittsburgh 9-1 Friday at the Clemson Softball Stadium in Clemson.
The Tigers, who have won nine straight, invoked the eight-run mercy rule in the fifth inning. Clemson improves to 17-7 overall and 4-0 in the ACC. Pitt falls to 6-10 and 1-3 in the ACC.
Clemson has now won 12 straight home games, and is 12-1 this season in its home ballpark.
“Once we got through the first inning seeing what Pitt was throwing, our offense did a great job getting the ball in play and putting pressure on the defense,” said Clemson head coach John Rittman. “Then Bailey of course did a great job with her two-out home run taking advantage of her pitch. We just continued to swing the bat aggressively.”
After taking a 3-0 lead in the second inning behind Taylor’s home run, the Tigers continued their strong batting into the third inning. With the bases loaded, Hannah Goodiwn singled to shortstop, scoring one run. Clemson went on to put up four more runs in the inning as they ran away with the game.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Taylor, who was 2-for-2, cranked a bases loaded RBI single down the line giving Clemson its seventh run of the game. Taylor finished the afternoon with three RBIs.
“It felt good to get that hit,” said Bailey Taylor. “Our defense was playing really well and everyone was hitting well. It’s always nice to go out there and get a couple of runs on the board for the pitchers.”
After Pitt got a run back in the top of the fourth, Clemson quickly got it back in the bottom half of the inning. Valerie Cagle responded by starting the half-inning with a single, followed by a Marissa Guimbarda double. MK Bonamy, who was 2-for-3 on the day, then doubled to right center scoring both runners and giving the Tigers a 9-1 lead.
Pitching a complete game in the circle, Cagle struck out five Pitt batters while allowing the sole run in the fourth. With the win, Cagle improved to 8-6 on the season.
“When you’re pitching and hitting sometimes that can be difficult,” said Rittman. “She came out early and they were putting the ball in play, but Valerie and the defense stepped up and made some big plays. Valerie making that play in the circle and Marissa with the big throw to the plate was huge to kind of set the tone.”
Alia Logoleo went 1-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs, as well, to help Clemson extend its win streak.
Coach Rittman had one word to define Clemson softball so far this season, “fun”.
The Tigers will host Pitt in Game 2 of the three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m.