CLEMSON, S.C. (Clemson SID) – In front of a record setting 1,982 fans, the No. 7/6 Clemson softball team defeated No. 14/11 Northwestern, 15-2, on Friday afternoon to open the 2023 home slate at McWhorter Stadium during the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The win improves the Tigers to 7-0 on the year, while the Wildcats drop to 2-3.
The Tigers tallied their seventh-straight game with double-digit hits clocking 15 led by McKenzie Clark and Aby Vieira, each recording three. Clark, Vieira and Reedy Davenport each tallied a home run. As a team, Clemson recorded 13 RBI led by Caroline Jacobsen notching three.
Clemson wasted no time getting runs on the board as McKenzie Clark hit a leadoff home run out of left field. The momentum continued to swing in the Tigers’ favor as Maddie Moore and Valerie Cagle got on base off a walk and a hit by pitch. Moore advanced to third on a throwing error and scored off a wild pitch. Sophomore Aby Vieira stepped to the plate with two outs and drove a two-run homer to left center to make it 4-0 after the first inning.
The Tigers started the second inning the same as the first with graduate Reedy Davenport hitting a leadoff home run out of left field at the bottom of the lineup. Both Moore and Cagle got on base again which allowed Caroline Jacobsen to bring Moore home with a single to right field. Alia Logoleo followed with a double to right center to bring home Cagle and Jacobsen. JoJo Hyatt rounded out the inning with a RBI single to right field to make it 9-0 after two.
Northwestern got two runs back in the top of the third inning, but the Clemson bats exploded for another impressive inning as Clark and Moore led off with singles. Cagle, who was replaced by Ansley Houston, reached on a throwing error by the pitcher that scored Clark. Jacobsen brought in two more runs with a single to right center. Hyatt plated the fourth run of the inning with a sac fly that scored Logoleo.
In the circle, Cagle took care of business at the top of the fourth to stunt Northwestern’s offense. Then at the bottom of the fourth, Clark and Abi Stuart recorded a pair of doubles to bring in Rachel Gibson, who was pinch running for Davenport, and Clark, respectively, to extend the Tigers’ lead to 15-2.
Cagle pitched the first four innings and struck out seven batters while only allowing four hits en route to improving to 4-0 on the year. She was replaced in the top of the fifth inning by Regan Spencer, who pitched the final frame with two strikeouts.
Up NextThe Tigers continue action at the ACC/Big 10 Challenge Saturday, Feb. 18 against No. 14/11 Northwestern at 3 p.m. and Ohio State at 5:30 p.m.