There were five lead changes Saturday. (Clemson athletics photo)
There were five lead changes Saturday. (Clemson athletics photo)

Syracuse snaps Clemson's 19-game streak with a walk-off single

by - Correspondent -

Syracuse’s Genna Tores singled up the middle with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring two runs to win 7-6 and snap the No. 11 Clemson Tigers' 19-game win streak Saturday. The Tigers will still have a chance to win the regular-season crown Sunday with the final game of the regular season set for first pitch at noon (ACCNX).

Cagle was a force to be reckoned with at the plate on the day, hitting 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. It wasn't the best day inside the circle for the redshirt freshman, allowing six earned runs across nine hits and eight strikeouts. Cagle picked up her fourth loss of the season and now sits at 24-4.

The lead changed five times and the contest was tied a total of two times in a back and forth affair at Skytop Stadium. Cagle came up clutch in a scoring opportunity in the seventh inning in a tied game, sneaking a single down the third base line for the go-ahead RBI.

The Tigers got on the board first in the second game, plating a run on a Guimbarda line out to the outfield and scoring the speedy McKenzie Clark from third. Clemson left two runners on base in the first inning.

Syracuse took its first lead of the game in the home half of the second, scoring four runs on four hits to take a 4-1 lead. Toni Martin hit the Oranges’ third homer of the weekend off of Cagle, matching the amount of long balls the redshirt freshman had given up coming into the weekend.

Cagle tied the game at four in the top of the third, hitting her team-leading 13th home run of the season to the hill behind the right-center field fence. Clark was able to get aboard by drawing a walk to begin the inning and Ansley Gilstrap was the other runner on base for the three-run long ball after reaching base on a throwing error on the Orange third baseman.

The Orange took the lead back in the following half inning, taking advantage of some unusual errors by the Tigers to plate a run. The run came across to make it a 5-4 game after a wild pitch from Cagle in the circle.

Syracuse threatened to put more on the board in the fourth, putting runners on second and third with two outs. A diving play from Cammy Pereira at second base ranging to her right saved a RBI single and kept it a one run game for Clemson.

Cagle tied the game with one swing once again in the fifth, hitting an opposite field solo home run with two outs to tie the game and give Clemson the momentum back.

Clark stole a home run back in the field in the fifth, bringing what would have been a lead-changing homer back into the stadium in the web of her mitt to keep the game tied at five.

Neither team was able to plate a run in the sixth and with the ACC Regular Season Championship on the line, the game would head to the final inning tied, 5-5.

After back-to-back singles from Clark and Gilstrap with one out, Cagle gave the Tigers the lead with her fifth RBI of the game, sending a single just past the third baseman's outreach glove and the speedy Clark rounded third and scored the go-ahead run. The Tigers stranded a bases loaded opportunity as Cagle came back out to the circle to win the regular season championship.

A costly mistake at first on a dropped ball kept the bottom of the seventh inning alive for the Orange and with the bases loaded, Tores drove in the game-winning run to snap the Tigers 19-game winning streak.

Seeking the conference's No. 1 seed on Sunday, the Tigers will travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the ACC Softball Tournament next week before finding out their fate in the NCAA Tournament bracket. Florida State plays at noon in Pittsburgh also Sunday and needs a win and a Clemson loss to jump the Tigers.

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