LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Valerie Cagle has already received a host of accolades for her performance both in the circle and at the plate this season.
Cagle pitched another complete game shutout in the ACC Softball Tournament on Friday as the top-seeded Tigers defeated No. 4 Virginia Tech 2-0 to advance to Saturday’s ACC Championship Game. The second-year freshman also added a home run at the plate in the third inning to help her own cause.
Hokies’ head coach Pete D’Amour made it clear how he feels about Cagle’s season in his post-game press conference on Friday.
“She’s an All-America type pitcher and in fact she is a World Series type pitcher,” he said.
Cagle has been unstoppable as a pitcher and hitter this season. She is 26-4 in the circle with an ACC best 1.28 ERA. At the plate she is hitting .422 with 43 RBIs and 17 home runs.
Those numbers earned her ACC Player of the Year and ACC Freshman of the Year honors earlier this week.
But Clemson head coach John Rittman agrees there is more on the table for Cagle as the team moves deeper into postseason play.
“I think certainly Valerie’s numbers back up her opportunity to be in the running for All-American,” Rittman said. “I think she is very deserving and as her coach we got to see her play all year long and she has put up the numbers.”
Cagle worked out of a jam in Friday’s game after a leadoff single and walk that gave Virginia Tech some momentum in the top of the first inning. But the righty responded with a strikeout and a groundout to retire the side with no damage done.
“I always know my defense and offense have my back, so getting past those two hitters after the walk and the hit and my teammates backed me up,” Cagle said.
Clemson (42-5) returns to action on Saturday against the winner of Duke and Florida State in the ACC Championship Game at noon, the contest will be televised on ESPN.
—Photo courtesy of ACC Communications
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