LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Clemson softball team bested Georgia Tech 2-0 at Ulmer Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisville to advance to the semifinals of the ACC Softball Tournament.
Valerie Cagle continued her impressive season with another dominant performance in the circle for the Tigers. She pitched a complete-game and allowed no runs on one hits with six walks and 14 strikeouts.
The 14 strikeouts matched a career high for Cagle, who did the same earlier this season in the same ballpark against Louisville. Cagle improved to 25-4 on the season with the win.
Head coach John Rittman couldn’t give Cagle enough credit for her performance in the Tigers’ win Thursday.
“Valerie Cagle in the circle I just can’t say enough about her, she’s a second-year freshman learning how to play in these big games as we go, and I’m really proud of her performance today against a really good hitting Georgia Tech team,” Rittman said in his postgame press conference.
The difference in the game were two solo home runs by Cammy Pereira in the second and sixth innings. She entered the tournament with one home run on the season.
Pereira was happy to come through on Thursday for her teammates.
“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,” she said after the game.
The 10th-ranked Tigers improved to 41-5 overall and 30-5 in the ACC.
In the top of the sixth inning, Georgia Tech put some pressure on Cagle and the Tigers as it loaded the bases with two outs.
Mallory Black led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Then Ansley Gilstrap made a heads up play to catch Black off guard between the bases and Pereira dove over the bag to tag the runner and record the second out.
Cameron Stanford singled through the right side for Tech’s first hit of the contest and put runners on the corners before Cagle intentionally loaded the bases with two outs. But Cagle delivered again and struck out Crosby Huckaby to end the threat.
Pereira added some insurance for the Tigers with another solo shot to straightaway center field with two outs in the bottom of the sixth to give Clemson its 2-0 advantage.
Clemson returns to action on Friday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals and will play the winner of four seed Virginia Tech and No. 5 Notre Dame.
Get your Trevor Lawrence or Travis Etienne Jacksonville jersey from Fanatics right here!