LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cammy Pereira started off her morning with a trip to the omelet bar at the Clemson team hotel in Louisville on Thursday.
And though she did not eat her Wheaties, it was obvious the omelet was her “Breakfast of Champions.”
Pereira hit a pair of home runs to lift the 10th-ranked Tigers over Georgia Tech, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the ACC Softball Tournament. Pereira tied an ACC Tournament record with the two home-run game and was the first to record a multi-homer game since the 2017 tournament.
Pereira entered the tournament with one long ball on the season and tripled her total in a game where Clemson struggled to gain momentum at the plate. But the second baseman attributed her success at the plate more to her approach than her breakfast.
“For me I think I was focusing a lot on seeing the ball well and seeing strikes,” Pereira said after the game. “I know some of our other hitters were getting tripped up on the rise ball, she had a pretty nice changeup too. I was really focused on just seeing a good pitch and hitting a good pitch.”
The Furman graduate transfer has been consistent as a hitter this season hitting .304 with three doubles, a pair of triples and 13 RBIs.
Pereira recalled a conversation between her longtime teammate and Clemson third baseman before her first at-bat where she snuck a homer over the wall in right center to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
“Right before my first at-bat, one of my biggest supporters Casey Bigham said, ‘Don’t guess Cam. You’ve got this.,’” Pereira recalled. “That’s the mindset I took to the whole game and I’m glad for that reminder.”
Head coach John Rittman was not surprised to see the ball jump off of Pereira’s bat against the Yellow Jackets.
“Not surprised at all, Cammy has power,” he said. “I remember the first time we took batting practice in our stadium she broke the ‘N’ in Clemson on top of the stadium. So, she definitely has power. When she is swinging it well that’s the result you get.”
The first home run in the second inning carried and just snuck over the fence in right center. But Pereira’s second shot was a no-doubter to straight away center that gave the Tigers extra insurance in the bottom of the sixth.
Pereira was proud to help her team out and pay back the favor from plenty of high leverage situations this season in which they have all come through at some point or another.
“I definitely knew the second one was gone, but wasn’t so sure about the first one,” she said. “This whole season I haven’t really hit like myself and I’ve been picked up a lot by my teammates and they’ve come through in tight moments and I’m really glad I could do that for them today.”
The Tigers play Virginia Tech tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville for a spot in the ACC Championship Game.
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