CLEMSON, S.C. - The No. 4/4 Clemson Tigers rolled over the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs in both games on Wednesday evening to improve to 17-1 on the year. The Tigers claimed game one in five innings after run-ruling GW, 8-0, before clinching game two, 4-1. With the two wins, Clemson extends its home-game winning streak to 15 games dating back to April 16, 2022, against Notre Dame.
Valerie Cagle led the charge at the plate going 3-for-6 with two runs scored and one RBI. Caroline Jacobsen also shined with a two-run homer, and two runs scored between the two games. McKenzie Clark finished the night with two runs scored, and Aby Vieira tallied two RBI.
Game 1 (W, 8-0, (5))
Clemson used the top of its lineup to get things rolling in the first inning. Clark drew a leadoff walk and then back-to-back singles from Maddie Moore and Cagle brought Clark around to score. Alia Logoleo also walked to load the bases that allowed Vieira to hit a deep sac fly to left field to plate Moore and make it 2-0 at the end of the first.
The Tigers had a huge third inning scoring six runs to extend the lead further. Cagle led off the inning with a double into left field. Both Jacobsen and Logoleo drew walks to load the bases. Vieira picked up another RBI on a fielder’s choice and made it to third on a throwing error by the shortstop. The error also allowed Jacobsen and Logoleo to score to make it 5-0.
JoJo Hyatt laid down a sac bunt to score Vieira from third to continue Clemson’s scoring streak. With the bases clear and only one out, Ally Miklesh walked and Reedy Davenport hit a single through the left side to put two on. In the next play, Clark reached on a fielder’s choice that ruled Ansley Houston, who was pinch running for Davenport, out at first. With two outs, Moore doubled down the left field line to score both Miklesh and Clark to make it 8-0 in favor of the Tigers.
Clemson’s defense shut down Gardner-Webb’s offense in the final two innings to clinch the fifth run-rule victory of 2023. Cagle started in the circle and pitched the first 4.0 innings with six strikeouts and only allowing one hit to improve to 7-1 on the year. Regan Spencer pitched the final inning and threw only 11 pitches against four batters.
Game 2 (W, 4-1)
Clemson carried the momentum from the first game into the nightcap by getting on the board in the first as Cagle hit a single with two outs, and Jacobsen followed with a two-run homer to left field for her sixth home run of the season.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs cut the lead in half after loading the bases in the third and being able to plate an unearned run. Clemson responded in the bottom of the fourth with Logoleo hitting a single and stole second to move into scoring position. Hyatt drew a walk, and Arielle Oda brought home one with a single down the left line. Davenport followed with an RBI double down the third base line to make it 4-1 after four.
Clemson’s defense prevented Gardner-Webb from scoring any additional runs, including Oda making an incredible diving play in left field to open the top of the sixth inning to help secure the win.
Junior Millie Thompson started in the circle in the second game and pitched 4.0 innings with five strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 6-0 in 2023 and earn the 30th win of her career. Thompson was replaced by Brooke McCubbin in the top of the fifth and pitched the final three innings with one strikeout to pick up her first save this season.
The Tigers are back in action at McWhorter Stadium this weekend to open ACC play against Syracuse. The series begins on Friday, March 3 at 4 p.m., before continuing on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. and concluding on Sunday, March 5 at noon. All three games will be broadcast on ACCNX.
Note: For Saturday’s game, Perimeter Road will be closed between Cherry Road and the entrance of the C1 Parking lot due to specific underground construction work on all lanes from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cherry Road will remain passable. C1 parking lot will facilitate two-way traffic as a detour. Signage will guide traffic through detour.