Cagle stars as Tigers sweep Cards, run winning streak to 17 games
|Sunday, March 21, 2021, 3:21 PM- -|
It was the Valerie Cagle show in Louisville, Kentucky as the redshirt freshman utility player threw a complete game in the circle, while driving in all four Clemson runs in the Tigers' 4-2 win to sweep the Louisville Cardinals on the road. The win was Clemson's 17th in a row, extending the program-record winning streak. Clemson moves to 20-2 and 12-2 in ACC play.
The victory marks No. 23 Clemson's fifth-consecutive series sweep (at Georgia Tech, Elon, at Virginia, Furman and at Louisville). It is also the team's third-straight ACC road sweep, as they have yet to lose a conference game away from McWhorter Stadium.
Cagle was 3-for-3 at the plate with four RBI and two solo home runs. In the circle, the right-hander tossed 7.0 innings, allowing one earned run and struck out 14, which ties her career-high from just two nights ago. Cagle improves to 12-1 and completed her 12th complete game of the season. Both the 12 wins and 12 complete games are best in the ACC.
The Virginia native put together an ACC Player of the Week type of weekend. Inside the circle, she tossed 18.0 innings and 293 pitches with 18 strikeouts and only allowed one earned run. At the plate, Cagle hit over .600 on the weekend, drove in six runs and hit the two home runs in Sunday’s game.
Clemson will face off with the Duke Blue Devils inside of McWhorter Stadium next weekend in a matchup of the top-two teams in the ACC. The Blue Devils are currently on a 17-game winning streak, tied with the Tigers for longest in the ACC.
Clemson did not take long to get on the board in the concluding game of the series, scoring two runs in the top of the first before Louisville could record an out. After starting the first game of the doubleheader with a home run yesterday, Clark started the rally with a leadoff triple down the left field line. Grace Mattimore reached on a fielder's choice the next at-bat and Cagle gave the Tigers the lead with a 2-run single up the middle.
The Cardinals cut the Clemson lead in half in the bottom half of the first, taking advantage of a rare Tiger error in the field to plate a run and make it a 2-1 ballgame.
Cagle gave herself an insurance run in the third inning, launching her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence.
After striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth, Cagle came up to bat in the sixth and hit her second home run of the contest, another solo shot to left field, to increase the Tiger lead, 4-1.
Louisville picked up a run in the bottom half of the inning, scoring on a single to left field as Arielle Oda lost the ball in the sun out in left field. Clemson took a 4-2 lead to the final inning of the series before Cagle closed out the victory.
CAGLE GOES YARD??— Clemson Softball ?? (@clemsonsoftball) March 21, 2021
That's her fifth home of the season and third RBI of the game! All of our runs today have come from Cagle's bat ??
?? ACCNX pic.twitter.com/jPT7gK2N8h