CLEMSON, S.C. – The No. 5/5 Clemson Tigers scored five runs in the opening inning to defeat the No. 17/16 Georgia Bulldogs, 7-1, on Tuesday evening at McWhorter Stadium in front of 1,912 fans. The win gives the Tigers an 11-0 start to a season for the first time in the program’s brief existence and marks a 13-game home winning streak dating back to April 16, 2022, against Notre Dame. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 7-4 on the year.
Clemson tallied eight hits with redshirt junior JoJo Hyatt leading the charge going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Reedy Davenport also finished with two hits and an RBI, while McKenzie Clark hit her fifth home run of the season. In the circle, Valerie Cagle pitched her third complete game of the year with four strikeouts and only allowed four hits to improve to 6-0.
For the fourth time this season, Clark hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning to put Clemson ahead early. The momentum continued as Maddie Moore drove a single up the middle and Cagle drew a walk. Graduate Caroline Jacobsen drove a shot off the left field fence for a RBI double that brought Moore home. Still with no outs in the first inning, Georgia made a pitching change before Alia Logoleo came to the plate.
With runners on second and third, Logoleo executed her second squeeze bunt in three games to score Cagle from third and make it 3-0 in favor of the Tigers. Aby Vieira advanced Logoleo to second on a ground out, and Hyatt hit the first Clemson triple of the season to score Jacobsen and Logoleo to make it 5-0 after the first.
The Bulldogs got one run back in the top of the fifth inning after three-straight singles loaded the bases with no outs. Madison May tracked a ball down in foul territory outside of first base for the first out. During the next at bat, in hopes of turning two, Logoleo made the flip to Moore at second and then the throw was sent to first in an attempt to turn it into a double play. It fell milliseconds short, as the batter was ruled safe at first and the runner at third scored. After five, it was 5-1 in favor of Clemson.
Clemson added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth after Hyatt hit a one-out single down the left field line. She was replaced by Arielle Oda as a pinch runner, who quickly stole second base. Oda scored on a throwing error by Georgia’s pitcher that allowed Ally Miklesh to be ruled safe at first on a sac bunt attempt. Davenport brought Miklesh around from first to score with a single into left center to make it 7-1 after six.
Up Next Clemson hits the road traveling to Tampa, Fla., for the USF Tournament. The Tigers will square off against host USF on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6 p.m.