CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Trailing by two runs heading into the fifth inning in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Clemson Softball team tallied five straight runs, including four in the top of the sixth, to ultimately earn its eighth consecutive victory.
The Tigers rallied to beat Virginia, 5-3, at Palmer Park in Charlottesville, Va. Clemson’s Grace Mattimore broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth inning after registering a two-run double down the left field line.
Second-year freshman Emma Whitfield (1-0) earned her first win of the season in the circle after entering in relief of starter Millie Thompson in the fifth. Whitfield pitched for 2 1/3 innings and recorded two strikeouts.
With the win, Clemson improved to 11-2 overall and 6-2 in ACC play, while the Cavaliers fell to 6-7 overall and 2-5 league games.
After Thompson retired nine of the first 10 Virginia batters, the Cavaliers took the lead on a two-run homer to right-center field in the bottom of the fourth.
The Tigers chipped away at the Cavaliers’ lead after Kyah Keller recorded her first of two RBIs on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fifth, narrowing the Virginia lead to 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, righty Emma Whitefield struck out back-to-back batters with bases loaded to end the inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Alia Logoleo recorded her first career sacrifice fly to left field to score McKenzie Clark, who kickstarted the inning with a leadoff triple. Then, Mattimore (2-for-3) ripped her double to left-field to give Clemson a 4-2 lead.
Keller’s second RBI of the day came on an infield single between third and short to extend the Tigers’ lead to 5-2.
The Cavaliers hit their second home run of the day in the bottom of the second to narrow their deficit to 5-3.
Second-year freshman right Valerie Cagle earned her second save of the season after entering the circle in the bottom of the seventh.
–photo and story courtesy of Clemson Athletics Communications
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