Clemson splits double header at Syracuse, 4-2, 6-7; Winning streak snapped at 19 games

Clemson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Clemson SID) Marissa Guimbarda’s 12th home run of the season in the top of the fifth inning proved to be the difference in game No. 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader between the Clemson Softball team (39-4, 28-4 ACC) and Syracuse (19-22, 11-19 ACC). The Tigers went on to defeat the Orange by a final score 4-2 at Skytop Softball Stadium and – in the process – recorded their nineteenth consecutive victory, which tied the Clemson record for the sixth-longest winning streak by any team in school history.

Clemson freshman starting lefty Millie Thompson (8-1) earned the win in the circle for the Tigers after holding the Orange to just two runs in 5.0 innings pitched. Thompson tallied five strikeouts and held Sryacuse to just four hits and two walks. Freshman Regan Spencer earned her first career save after entering in relief of Thompson to start the sixth. Thompson faced just one batter above the minimum on one walk. Syracuse’s Lindsey Hendrix (3-3) suffered the loss and was relieved in the fifth after giving up the home run to Guimbarda and Hyatt’s RBI-double.

Syracuse led off the scoring in the bottom of the second with a two-RBI double to left-center field that brought home both runners in scoring position. 

With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the third, the Tigers cut their deficit to 2-1 after all four Clemson base runners advanced successfully on a fielder’s choice hit to second by Alia Logoleo. The RBI was Logoleo’s 18th of the season. After Valerie Cagle reached on an error, Guimbarda went first-pitch swinging on her long ball to kick start a three-run fifth inning for the Tigers.

Up next, the Tigers and Syracuse return to action at Skytop Softball Stadium for game No. 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. on ACCNX.

Notes

  • Mirroring the Tigers’ 19-game win streak, Valerie Cagle extended her current hit streak to 19 games. Since the win streak began, Cagle’s hitting .518 (29-for-56) at the plate.
  • With Saturday’s game No. 1 win, the Tigers are now 28-4 in league play and can clinch the ACC regular-season title if they can win game No. 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader.
  • Holding the Orange to just two runs in Saturday’s first contest, Clemson has not allowed more than three runs in 40 of its 43 games played this season, including its last 35 games.
  • Clemson improved to 31-0 this season when hitting at least one home run. The Tigers are 46-2 all-time when homering at least once.

Game Two:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Clemson SID) — The Clemson Softball team’s 19-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Syracuse Orange (20-22, 12-19 ACC), who took the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader in walk-off fashion by a score of 7-6. The loss marked the first time the Tigers, now 39-5 overall and 28-5 in ACC play, have ever lost when scoring five or more runs, and dropped them to 41-1 all-time in such games. Game 1 Recap

Despite going 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs and five RBI, starting pitcher Valerie Cagle (25-4) suffered just her fourth loss of the season. Syracuse pitcher Alexa Romero earned the win and moved to 8-9 on the campaign.

Clemson’s Marissa Guimbarda carried her momentum from game one into the first inning of game two, when her sacrifice fly plated McKenzie Clark for the first run of the game. Syracuse responded with a four-run second inning, but Cagle erased the Tigers’ deficit with one swing of the bat, a three-run shot to right field, which knotted the game at four apiece in the top of the third. 

In the bottom of the frame, Syracuse regained the lead after a wild pitch allowed the Syracuse runner on third to score. However, Cagle once again refused to let the Orange lead stand, as she hit yet another homer, her 14th of the season, in the top of the fifth on a line drive over the left-center field wall. 

After a scoreless sixth inning, two one-out singles set the stage for Cagle yet again, who yet again came through for the Tigers. Cagle sliced an RBI-single down the left-field line to score Clark and give Clemson a 6-5 lead. 

Capitalizing on an infield hit, an error, and a fielder’s choice that did not result in a single out, the Orange loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning. Cagle struck out the following batter, but Geana Torres’ single up the middle scored both the tying and winning runs as the Tigers lost their first game since March 26 against Duke. 

Up next, the Tigers round out their 2021 regular-season campaign against Syracuse on Sunday at noon, which is slated to stream on ACCNX. A Clemson win or tie against the Orange on Sunday would clinch the ACC regular-season title for the Tigers as would a Florida State (38-9-1, 26-5-1 ACC) loss at Pitt in Sunday’s regular-season finale for the Seminoles.

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