Clemson secures series win over Pitt 7-2, improving to 5-0 in ACC play
Clemson overtook Pittsburgh Saturday in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a two-run bomb to centerfield from MK Bonamy, lifting the Tigers to a 7-2 victory at the Clemson Softball Stadium in Clemson.
Saturday’s win over the Panthers clinches the series for Clemson as the Tigers improve to 5-0 in the ACC. The victory was Clemson’s 10th in a row and their 13thstraight at home. The Tigers are 18-8 overall.
The Panthers (6-11, 1-4 ACC) took the lead early in the first inning with a single RBI from Alexee Haynes and struck again in the third with Connor McGaffic’s solo homer to left. Clemson struggled to respond in the first three inning, but finally exploded in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“That was a big inning for us,” Clemson head coach John Rittman said. “We were behind in the game and I thought we throwing away some at-bats early in the game and not sticking with a good approach.”
Leading off the Clemson fourth, Marissa Guimbarda got the Tigers on the board with a solo home run to center field, her 11th of the year. The ball appeared to be caught, but it bounced off the glove of Panthers’ centerfielder Hunter Levesque and over the wall.
With the Panthers lead cut in half, Bonamy then blasted a no-doubt two-run homer to centerfield, lifting the Tigers to a 3-2 lead over Pitt.
“To get three big hits in a row with Guimbarda’s leaving the park, Hannah with the base hit and MK with the big two-run homer,” Rittman said. “It just took a little pressure off of everybody, so that inning was huge for us.”
Clemson continued it’s momentum into the sixth inning, tacking on four insurance runs to bring the final score to 7-2 . Catcher JoJo Hyatt had a two-run single in the inning to give the Tigers’ some breathing room.
Whitfield gets the win in the circle after coming in relief of Logan Caymol in the fourth inning. In the top of the sixth, Valerie Cagle came on with the score 3-2 to record the save.
“They just never give up and they seem to have a calm presence about them,” Rittman said. “Occasionally, they need to get a fire lit underneath them, but for the most part they just have a sense that can come back in any game that they are behind in. That is just a great trait to have, especially as a first-year program.”
Clemson is back in action Sunday at the Clemson Softball Stadium in Clemson to host Pittsburgh in game three of the series. First pitch is scheduled for noon.