Clemson edges Auburn in pitcher’s duel to advance to regional championship
CLEMSON, S.C. – Redshirt sophomore Valerie Cagle led the charge from the circle and from the plate to help push the No. 10 seed Clemson softball team to a 1-0 win over Auburn in the winner’s bracket of the Clemson Regional on Saturday afternoon. Following the win, Clemson improves to 41-15 on the year as Auburn drops to 40-16.
By improving to 2-0 in the Regional, Clemson advances to play Sunday at 1 p.m., and would advance to the program’s first Super Regional with a victory in the double-elimination format. Clemson’s Sunday opponent is to be determined after Saturday’s games, and both live audio and video will be available.
Both sides kept it a low-scoring game brought on by a pitcher’s duel between Clemson’s Cagle and Auburn’s Maddie Penta. Neither Cagle nor Penta allowed a runner to get past first base through the first three innings. Both catchers, Aby Vieira and Aspyn Godwin, caught a runner attempting to steal to help play a role in keeping things scoreless through three.
Clemson broke open the scoring drought in the bottom of the fourth inning with Cagle and Marissa Guimbarda hitting back-to-back doubles into left field with two outs. As soon as the ball hit the bat on Guimbarda’s double, Cagle was on the move and was able to stand up coming into home to give Clemson the 1-0 lead.
Auburn attempted to bounce back in the top of the fifth after leading off with a single, but Alia Logoleo made the heads up play by stepping on second after fielding a ball hit up the middle and making the throw over to Bailey Taylor at first to complete the double play.
In the sixth, Auburn loaded the bases off two singles and a throwing error by Clemson. In a potential sac fly situation, McKenzie Clark caught a ball in center and was already geared up to make the throw home, forcing Auburn to leave the runner on third. Clemson ended the inning with Logoleo making the throw to Cammy Pereira at second allowing Clemson to maintain the 1-0 lead for the remainder of the game.
Cagle threw her 15th complete game of the season, striking out six batters, to improve to 16-8 on the year. Today’s win marks Clemson’s 18th shutout this season and second-consecutive of the Clemson Regional.