It was a beautiful night in Clemson, South Carolina as the Tigers’ softball team faced the Charlotte 49ers on Wednesday. The Tigers extended their home winning streak to a program-record 24 games with a 9-1 win in five innings.
Righthander Valerie Cagle got the start in the circle for Clemson. Cagle (11-1) finished allowing only one run and three hits, and had eight strikeouts.
It was a competitive and tight game on both ends. Clemson was first to get on the board when Caroline Jacobsen grounded out to third, and Makenzie Clark advanced home to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
UNCC answered quickly in the top of the second to tie the game 1-1.
Again in the bottom of the third, Jacobsen doubled on a strike to left field that advanced Clark home to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The game remained within one run until the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, UNCC had runners on the corners, and pinch hitter Madelyn Wright was at bat. Wright grounded out, and the Tigers avoided a possible game-changing play.
It was all Tigers in the bottom of the fifth, when Clark hit a much-needed fly away over the left field fence and pinch runner Ansley Houston also scored as a result, extending their lead to 4-1. This was Clark’s eighth home run of the season.
Clark scored three of the nine Clemson runs on Wednesday.
Later on, Cagle hit a strike out into left field, and Maddie Moore advanced home. Sarah Howell came in to pinch run for Cagle. The next batter, Jacobsen, also doubled to right field, and Howell scored to extend the lead to 6-1.
Aby Vieira then hit a line drive to left field and Jacobsen scored.
Arielle Oda had a walk-off home run to right field with a runner on base that extended the Tigers’ lead to 9-1, and ended the game in the fifth due to the NCAA run-rule.
The Tigers had seven total runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Clemson is set to play the first game in its series against Virgina this Friday at 5:30 p.m at McWhorter Stadium.
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