LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Valerie Cagle hit two home runs, drove in all four of her team’s runs and pitched a complete game Sunday, as No. 23 Clemson downed Louisville, 4-2, Sunday at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville.
Thanks to Cagle, the Tigers won their fifth straight series, while extending their winning streak to 17 games. With their 17th straight win, the Tigers tied both the Clemson Volleyball (2007) and Women’s Tennis (1977-78) programs for the longest winning streak in school history by a women’s program.
The Tigers have also won 11 straight ACC games.
Cagle finished the afternoon 3-for-3 at the plate, while the ACC’s leader in wins improved to 12-1 in the circle. For the second time in the four-game series, she struck out 14 Cardinals without allowing a walk.
Her 14 strikeouts Sunday are a career best for a seven-inning game. Cagle recorded 14 strikeouts in 11 innings of work in Friday night’s 4-0 shutout victory over Louisville.
The Tigers (20-2, 12-2 ACC) jumped on top of Louisville early when center fielder McKenzie Clark hit a lead-off triple to start the game. Clark’s triple was her fifth of the season and is good for the most by any ACC player this season.
Two batters later, Cagle registered a two-run double to score Clark and pinch runner Carlee Shannon for a 2-0 lead entering the bottom of the first.
The Cardinals (9-11, 3-6) responded in the bottom half of the first, scoring a run on a Clemson throwing error to cut the Tigers’ lead to 2-1.
Cagle extended the Tigers lead to 4-1 thanks to a pair of solo home runs in the third and the sixth innings. Sunday’s contest marked the fourth multi-home run effort of her career and second this season.
After Cagle’s homer in the sixth, Louisville registered its fourth and final run of the series after a high flyball to left field, but the Clemson left fielder lost the ball in the sun, allowing the runner to score from first.
Cagle recorded all three outs herself in the bottom of the seventh after striking out two and retiring the final batter on a groundout hit back to the circle.
Clemson returns home to McWhorter Stadium to host No. 14 Duke (23-1, 11-1 ACC) in a four-game series, which begins Friday at 5 p.m.
—courtesy of Clemson Athletics Communications
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