CLEMSON, S.C. – The No. 4/4 Clemson Tigers made a strong push but fell short to the No. 6/6 Florida State Seminoles on Friday evening. Following the 3-2 loss, Clemson drops to 37-4 (12-3 ACC), while FSU improves to 32-7 (11-1 ACC).
The Tigers came out aggressive on both the offensive and defensive sides. After graduate Ally Miklesh robbed a home run to end the top of the first, McKenzie Clark, residing in the two spot for the first time this season, hit a hard chopper at FSU’s third baseman that she was able to extend into an extra base hit with a double. Valerie Cagle brought Clark around to score, hitting a ball that Florida State’s second baseman bobbled to make it 1-0 in favor of the Tigers.
As the rain rolled in, Florida State leveled the field after getting two runners on off walks before the next batter hit a single to the right side. With runners on the corners, catcher Aby Vieira fired a throw down to Alia Logoleo at second to catch the runner attempting to steal for the final out of the inning.
Clemson reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth after Caroline Jacobsen got hit by a pitch. Julia Bomhardt, who was running for Jacobsen, took advantage of a failed pickoff attempt from FSU’s catcher, who overthrew first base that allowed Bomhardt to score.
Florida State answered with two of its own in the top of the sixth after loading the bases with no outs. A sac fly brought in the first runner to tie the game. Logoleo fielded a ball cleanly to get the second out making the throw home to get the lead runner, but FSU stole home on the throw back to the circle to take the lead, 3-2.
Clemson made a push in the bottom half of the sixth but left a runner stranded at third. The Tigers pushed for a two-out rally in the seventh after Clark hit a short hopper over the third baseman’s glove into left field. In an attempt to stretch it into two, Clark was caught at second base with a perfect throw from the left fielder to end the game.
Cagle pitched her 14th complete game and fell to 18-3 on the year. She picked up four strikeouts during the seven-inning performance.
The Tigers are back in action next Tuesday, April 11 at South Carolina for the second and final game of the 2023 Palmetto Series presented by S.C. Education Lottery. The game in Columbia is scheduled for a 6 p.m.